ActionSA requests Auditor-General (A-G), Tsakani Maluleke, to further investigate Matjhabeng Municipality’s leadership, governance, financial and performance management in terms of sections 4(1) and (3) of the Public Audit Act (PAA).
This is after ActionSA’s bid to get the Free State CoGTA MEC, Ketso Makume, to invoke section 139(5) of the Constitution against Matjhabeng, was met with disdain.
This municipality is marred by financial maladministration, corruption, mismanagement and is on the brink of complete financial ruin. The outcome of which will adversely affect real South Africans who rely on this municipality for the very basics to exist.
According to the A-G’s latest financial management report for Matjhabeng Municipality, the state of the Municipality is in desperate need of intervention. The A-G raised concerns about the municipality’s debt exceeding its assets by R8.4 billion and highlighted that it has also incurred a deficit of R1 billion.
On 01 October 2023, the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) wrote to Free State Premier, Mxolisi Dukwana, requesting him to immediately intervene in terms of section 139 (5) of the Constitution by taking over the finances of the municipality through a competent and qualified individual who can oversee the financial turnaround of the municipality in the interest of residents. To date nothing has been done to reverse this impending crisis.
Allegations abound that the Mayor refused to pay three service providers a total of R88 million for services rendered, allegedly demanding a kickback of R4 million from each company.
Furthermore, it is alleged that the Mayor instructed the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Thabo Panyani, to withhold payment until the companies had complied with his wildly unlawful demand.
At an NCOP presentation, the Mayor communicated that Matjhabeng has spent R2.8 billion on service providers over the last five years, which amounts to a total of R45 million per month.
ActionSA requests that A-G to investigate the following allegations:
Matjhabeng exemplifies a case of a failing municipality which is the reason why ActionSA will not stand idly by.
We are resolute in our fight against corruption and maladministration. We believe that our public institutions should exist solely to fulfil the state’s development mandate by delivering services with pride to South Africans.
It is against this backdrop that ActionSA requests the Auditor-General to investigate the aforementioned allegations with the requisite haste.