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Irregular expenditure in Sundays River Valley out of control

BY Vicky Knoetze (MPL), Zuurberg Constituency Leader

Despite violent resident protest in Kirkwood that made the national news two years ago after the local council wrote off R84. 5-million in irregular expenditure, Sunday's River Valley Municipality (SRVM) is at it again.  This time, a whopping R72-million in irregular expenditure has been incurred in the 2014/15 financial year, R42-million more than initially communicated to the council.


In a society that is free and fair, one simply cannot allow that a small municipality such as Sunday's River Valley squanders such huge amounts without any consequences to those responsible and to the detriment of good service delivery to the community. 


Clearly, officials of this ANC-run municipality is still flouting supply chain management processes, and disregarding laws governing local government, including allegedly conspiring with service providers to inflate prices and interference in tenders. 


In September 2014 protestors took to the streets and municipal buildings were set alight, destroying all municipal records and assets.


At the time the DA called for the Department of Local Government to investigate.  The report was tabled at the SRVM Council meeting in February. 


According to the legal opinion obtained, due to the records of the municipality being destroyed, the investigation had no access to the information used to reach the recommendation that the money be written off as irrecoverable. It also states that any investigation under these circumstances would be futile, resulting in further expenditure not likely to yield any positive results.


I have again requested the MEC of Local Government, Fikile Xasa, to investigate the irregular expenditure, as a matter of extreme urgency. This time, there will not be an excuse that evidence to investigate the matter was destroyed.  I have also recommended that the issue of record keeping in SRVM be taken up at MPAC.

 March 03, 2016
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