DA again calls for Gamagara to be placed under administration

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The official opposition party of South Af-rica, the Democratic Alliance (DA), has reiterated its call to the MEC of Co-operative Governance, Human Settle-ments and Traditional Affairs (CoGHSTA), Bentley Vass, to place the Gamagara local municipality under administration.
This comes after Ratings Afrika last week published its latest Municipal Financial Sus-tainability Index, revealing Gamagara muni-cipality as the worst performing municipality in the Northern Cape.
According to Melinda Hattingh, MPL and DA Constituency Head of Lohatla, it does not come as a surprise to the DA that Gama-gara municipality is performing so badly.
“The placement of ANC cadres in senior management positions has, to a large ex-tent, destroyed the operations of this munici-pality. The placement of Moses 'Maserati' Grond, as the Municipal Manager, is a prime example. His lavish lifestyle took prece-dence over dealing with service delivery is-sues and also came at the cost of service delivery. Whilst he has since been removed
tinues his legacy of corruption and mal-administration,” the DA's media release ex-plains.
“Earlier this year, the DA called on Mr Vass to place the municipality under administra-tion after it came to light that the municipality had failed to fulfill its payment obligation to Eskom for outstanding debt exceeding R65-million. The municipality also owes money to other institutions.
“At the last known date, Gamagara owed R62-million to Anglo American after it lost the court case against the disastrous pro-perty evaluations and R7.6-million to John Taolo Gaetsewe district municipality after at least two payment agreements had not been honoured by Mr Grond.
“The municipality is also believed to be in arrears on its repayments to the Develop-ment Bank of South Africa. They further owe at least R14-million to Sedibeng Water. This amount could be more, however, because despite numerous requests by councillors for Mr Grond to produce proof of his agree-ment with Sedibeng, he consistently with-held important financial information from council.
“It is clear that the most basic responsibility of municipal management and the ANC-run
council, ie to manage the municipal finances of Gamagara, have been eroded to a point of no return. As a result, it is the people of the Kathu and its surrounds, who suffer the most. Residents constantly face the threat of load shedding and water shedding. They frequently also have to live alongside sew-age, due to the municipality's failure to up-grade and maintain infrastructure.
“Despite our previous efforts, pleas to CoGHSTA having fallen on deaf ears. The DA will keep on trying to hold incompetent employees, who are mostly ANC cadres, ac-countable and to have the municipality pla-ced under provincial administration.
The only viable chance, however, to really turn Gamagara municipality around is with a significant change in both provincial and lo-cal government at the ballot boxes in 2019 and 2021 - a change that only the DA can bring,” the media release concluded.
The question the Kathu Gazette raises is : Where did all the money go ? Bank sta-tements and audited financials must surely reveal the beneficiaries of huge amounts missing from the municipality's coffers. The-se beneficiaries must be identified and brought to book together with the person(s) who unlawfully authorised these payments.
as Municipal Mana-ger, he still remains as the Chief Finan-cial Officer, and con-tinues his legacy of corruption and mal-administration,” the DA's media release ex-plains.