More municipal millions blown

08 April 2013 - 02:41 By AMUKELANI CHAUKE
Cash. File photo.
Cash. File photo.
Image: Reuben Goldberg

Setting aside R1-million to buy a boat that never sailed . a sunflower-planting project that never got off the ground - these are just two examples of how North West municipalities are wasting taxpayers' money.

And an auditor-general's report has shown that employees of the province's wealthiest municipality, Bojanala Platinum District, awarded tenders to each other and to government officials.

The Municipal Public Accounts Committee oversight report, released at a recent Bojanala council meeting, and the auditor-general's report, paint a damning picture of how millions of rands from Bojanala district and the five municipalities under its administration are being misused.

The 2011-2012 reports found that:

The Madibeng local municipality channelled R1-million, not budgeted for, to buy a boat. It was never bought and R250000 of the amount was used to buy a vehicle, apparently for a municipal official;

  • Bojanala paid R139000 to Vitjo Media to develop and upgrade its website in September 2011. The committee later discovered that the website was not functional and important information, such as statements of policies, bylaws, council minutes and bids, was not available on it;
  • R3-million was spent by the Moses Kotane local municipality to clear a piece of land in Magong town, near Rustenburg, and plant sunflowers. On inspection, the committee found that the flowers were not planted and the project did not exist;
  • In the town of Skierlik, residents could access water for only three weeks after R8-million was spent on a water-supply project because of poor work. Taps were placed far from houses and were vandalised, pipes were left exposed and the Moretele local municipality failed to maintain the project due to an unpaid electricity bill;
  • Bojanala transferred R7.9-million from a conditional grant to fund salaries and other expenses, contrary to grant conditions.

Bojanala spokesman Archie Babeile did not respond to questions e-mailed to him on Friday.

Though the auditor-general gave Bojanala an unqualified audit, he found that R3-million was spent wastefully, irregularly or without authorisation.

Tenders awarded to municipal and government officials included one to MKE Masemola, an acting director for local economic development in Bojanala district, who is still in that position. Her company, Gopotse Civil Construction, reportedly received R137000 from the Madibeng municipality, which falls under Bojanala.

About 25 other officials were awarded tenders.