Open Letter to Premier Dukwana relating to Intervention in the Matjhabeng Financial and Leadership Crisis

Dear Premier Dukwana,

On the 01 October 2023, the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) wrote to you requesting you to immediately intervene by invoking section 139(5) of the Constitution whereby the finances of the municipality will be taken over by a competent and qualified individual who will oversee the financial turnaround of the municipality in the best interests of its residents. To date, nothing has been done while the municipality’s financial position continues to decline.

The reason for Matjhabeng’s latest financial woes can be laid squarely at the feet of Cllr Thanduxolo Khalipha. Under his leadership Matjhabeng is marred by financial maladministration, corruption, mismanagement and is on the brink of complete shut-down of all basic services. This because he stands accused of using the municipality’s service providers to cater to his personal needs.


  • There are allegations that he has hired the service provider’s daughter in his office.
  • According to the Auditor-General’s (A-G) latest financial management report, the state of the Municipality is in desperate need of intervention. A-G raised concerns about the municipality’s debt exceeding its assets by R8.4 billion and highlighted that it also incurred a deficit of R1 billion.
  • There are allegations 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.
  • At an NCOP presentation, the Mayor informed MPs 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.
  • The Welkom’s Sheriff has attached 24 vehicles from the municipality’s yellow fleet to the value of R41 million.
  • Ventersburg, Virginia and Welkom face continuous community protests, and are the subject of adverse findings by the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) and the Office of the Public Protector over its inability to deal with raw sewerage that spills into homes and flows into wetlands posing health and environmental risks.
  • The same municipality owes Eskom and Bloemwater R5 billion each.
  • The municipality is not stable, it cannot provide quality services to its communities, even something as basic as water, and residents have been without water for quite a while due to poor maintenance of wastewater treatment plants meant to provide its communities with clean water.
  • The municipality is not financially viable with a collection rate of 60% which fails to meet the projected 80% rate of collection.
  • Non-payment of salaries and the non-payment of pension fund contributions has been persistent for years; taking note that non-payment of pension fund contributions is a criminal offence.
  • He recently received a suspended judgement for contravening court order.

Seeing that this matter was not getting your full attention it rightfully deserves, on 30 October 2023 I wrote to the Free State CoGTA MEC, Ketso Makume, requesting him to invoke section 139(5) of the Constitution however this request was met with disdain by the MEC, to date no response from his office has been received. Not even an acknowledgement of receipt of our concerns.

On 06 November 2023, I wrote to the Office of the Public Protector, requesting them to probe the Mayor, I did the same on 15 November 2023 where I wrote to the Auditor-General also requesting to probe tis municipality’s finances and leadership.

On 23 October 2023, I issued a media statement requesting Mayor Thanduxolo Khalipa to do the honourable thing and to resign for the sake of the residents of this beleaguered municipality.

These are the steps that you should have followed as the leader of this province and your silence in this regard has occasioned this open letter.

The biggest mystery is why Cllr. Thanduxolo Khalipha still at the helm of Matjhbeng even though he has demonstrated that he is incapable of running this office efficiently? He has done nothing to advance the lives of Matjhabeng residents, and he has been a liability more than being an asset.

It is undeniable that the people of this municipality have lost confidence in his leadership.

When will it be an appropriate time for you to intervene, how long will Matjhabeng residents wait for fairness and justice to prevail?

Tseletsele and Koloi were made sacrificial lambs, yet Khalipha remains in the office despite his abysmal track record, could it be because he is one of the untouchables of the ANC? It is now becoming clear that the suspension of both Tseletsele and Koloi were just a smokescreen to create the illusion of accountability.

If this municipality was managed and staffed by highly qualified, ethical and committed public servants who operate with a high degree of professionalism, care and sense of duty. This crisis would have been nipped in the bud. This is the kind of governance that ActionSA will implement, a responsive and caring government.

What I would like to know is whether you the person to bring stability in this municipality or the residents should start searching for their liberator, one who will listen to their cries and bring them relief?

ActionSA wants to know when you are going to implement the NCOP’s directives, we are giving you 14 days to respond and demonstrate to the Matjhabeng residents that you are committed to bringing an end to this crisis. Should we not get a response we will escalate the matter to the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.

We look forward to your timely response.