It looks like residents of Govan Mbeki Municipality will have to brace themselves for more bad service delivery as the worst is yet to come. This is according to a press statement received from councillor Sbu Hlolweni, leader of SAPROMO, a fairly new political party with one seat in GMM council.
Even with GMM in apparent (and quite obvious) financial trouble, councillor Ethel Nkosi (ANC), MMC for Community Services, said that they were going to pass the resolution to buy uniforms for the bylaw enforcement officers whether other councillors like it or not.
“The financial inaccuracy will impact the municipality negatively when it comes to the allocation of equitable share. This means the municipality may not get the amount of money it deserves from National Treasury this coming financial year,” Hlolweni added.
It apparently all started when GMM decided to migrate from the old financial system to the new Municipal Standard Chart of Accounts (MSCOA) compliant system which has been “a complete failure that is confusing the community by billing them too high,” Hlolweni said on Friday.
The key objectives of the new MSCOA financial system, was to “have a National Standard for uniform recording and classification of municipal budget and financial information at a transactional level by providing a Standardized Chart of Accounts”. In more understanding terms the aim was to “improve data quality and credibility”, to “achieve a greater level of standardization”, to “develop uniform data sets for whole-of-government reporting”, to “standardize and align the local government accountability cycle, to “improve transparency, accountability and governance through uniform recording” and to “enable deeper data analysis and sector comparisons”. This according to GMM’s 5-year Integrated Development Plan that was released in 2017.
According to Hlolweni, GMM management said that the service provider met all the requirements needed by MSCOA and recommend by the National Treasury.
He also said that SAPROMO learnt that Sasol paid R10 million for the services upfront and that council ever since terminated the contract with the said provider.
It is not clear as to whether the service provider is going to be charged for costing the municipality and the residents millions.
“SAPROMO is therefore preparing a motion that will request the council to establish a committee consisting of councillors from different parties to investigate this matter and make recommendations to the council. We hope that this motion will appear on the agenda of the next council meeting and that the recommendations of such a committee will be implemented,” Hlolweni said.
“We hope that the political principals of this council will learn a lesson to consult and do thorough deliberations before engaging into any system. We find ourselves in this situation because we fail to work as an unity in this municipal council. Members work to please political ambitions rather than the members of the community. The council always strives to do things for compliance, rather than working to improve lives of ordinary members of the community and thus council always strives to achieve the minimum,” Hlolweni added.
Councillor Hlolweni was called into order when he mentioned that decisions are taken by a group of councillors without consultation. “When things are bad the ruling party calls for unity, but when it comes to decision making, they utter stinking words and sow divisions,” Hlolweni said.
“We are waiting the response from National Treasury, since the council sent inaccurate financial statements to the Treasury after recommending a failing service provider to GMM,” Hlolweni said.
If National Treasury doesn’t supply the necessary money, “it simply means that the municipality will fail again to deliver adequate services to the people of GMM,” according to Hlolweni.
•SAPROMO’s Secretary General, King Sibusiso Mahlangu, was shot and killed on 29 August last year. He was reportedly on his way back from a Practical Radical Economic Transformation launch in Nkomazi.
•GMM held a council meeting on Tuesday, 30 January. During the council meeting it became evident that the financial report in the agenda is based on inaccurate figures. After some debate the Democratic Alliance asked for a caucus. When the council reconvened, the DA made a proposal to suspend the council sitting until accurate reports can be provided. The ANC chose to use their majority and voted to accept the inaccurate reports as reports of council. The DA then decided not to be part of the decision and staged a walkout.