Councillors of the EFF in the Joe Mo-rolong municipality closed the of-fices of the municipality on February 05, 2018 for the better part of the day.
The disgruntlements leading to the clo-sure were about the circumstances sur-rounding the water crisis, the chief financial officer's reinstatement, and the VAT re-covery consultant.
Briefing the media, the articulate mayor of the beleaguered municipality, councillor Di-no Leutlwane, said that the water crisis in the vast Joe Morolong municipality is not a designed, but rather a natural phenome-non, characterised by the historical and geographical background of the area. Ano-ther cause of the scarcity of the precious liquid is lack or obsolete infrastructure, lack of water sources or dried up sources.
“This infrastructure is very old and the magnitude of this challenge varies from one area to another. The ageing material is suc-cumbing, hence the regular leakages and these disrupt the smooth flow of water where and when available. This keeps the maintenance crews on their toes to stop re-curring leakages.
“On the other hand, the municipality is try-ing to replace the aged underground ma-terial and equipment to ensure water sup-plies are smooth to the broader community. We are doing something towards the re-habilitation of the infrastructure and our motto is to deliver adequate services to the community. Water provision to the com-munity knows no politics and as such we cannot use it as an ideological leverage.”
The issue surrounding the chief financial officer is that she resigned and soon there-after, withdrew her resignation. The matter
was tabled at a council meeting leading to the approval of the withdrawal of her resig-nation.
The mayor was taken to task over the VAT recovery consultant Mabasotho who had been engaged by the previous administra-tion or council. The mayor said outright that Mabasotho consultancy had been appoint-ed on May 01, 2016.
In the 2016/17 audit report, the large monthly payments made to the consultancy by the municipality alerted the auditor ge-neral who classified them as irregular ex-penditure.
This matter, according to the Municipal Finance Management Act, must now be re-ferred to the Municipal Public Accounts Committee by council for investigation. It is estimated that around R25-million was gob-bled up by the suspicious consultant. The new council has since stopped payment to this dubious consultancy.