Date: 01 October 2004 By:
From all over the area, accusations are leveled that the municipality fails dismally in the delivery of services, and that the financial chaos at the municipality is only a symptom of a bigger problem – mismanagement and negligence.
Mr Freddy Mufamadi from Ha-Mashau said: “Presently, there is no one who can deny the allegations that there is corruption at the municipality. Why is it that certain people are paid, while others didn’t receive their salaries?”
An unemployed Mr SP Maboho, who survives by selling plas-tic bags in Makhado, said: “It is time for the Provincial Government to bring dedicated people with good leadership and management skills, who will also take service delivery to the people.”
“It seems as if this municipality is for an individual; there is corruption, fraud, sexual harassment, nepotism and mismanagement of funds. We understand that, when they employ people, they budget for their salaries. Why is the money reported to be finished now, while we have never heard about this before?” said Mpho Siphuma, a newspaper vendor at Makhado.
Casius Ndadza from Sinthumule/Kutama said that drastic steps must be taken against those who are enriching themselves “with our taxes. The electricity statements we are paying are very high, to the extent that we do not expect the municipality to find itself in a financial crisis like this.”
Mr Stephen Mabeba stated that the crisis “is a huge failure for this big and respectful municipality to owe its poor workers what they have sweated for. An independent commission of inquiry or the Scorpions is urgently needed at this municipality to take out all evils.”
Mr Mabogo from Madombidzha told Mirror: “What is needed at this municipality is a forensic audit and the national administrator must come to administrate this council; otherwise, there will be no service delivery.”
A photographer, Teacher Rashitjana, had this to say: “What I know about the municipality is that there is poor management, nepotism, tribalism and corruption in their system. The suspended municipal manager was often implicated as the main culprit of corruption. He is no longer there, but things have moved from bad to worse.It is painful to see people driving in flashy cars and staying in mansions while using our money.”
Several other readers argued that the directors are self-centred, not fit to be leaders, they don’t know and understand fund management. “It seems as if there is no financial officer. An injury to one is an injury to all, so how can they pay themselves and leave out the workers. Children eat first and then the parents,” several readers added.
From Madombidzha, Nndwakhulu Solomon Mmbooi remarked: “It clearly tells us that nepotism, corruption and fraud that workers were always complaining about is in existence at this municipality. The overpaid directors must understand that the municipality is not a private company, but a government institution, and that they must adjust their salaries.”
An ID councillor, Sipho Masuka, told Mirror that “it is time for certain ANC councillors and officials to change their attitudes of self-enrichment to service delivery. It is painful to see workers performing their duties for the whole month without being paid time-ously. These workers are also voters who voted so it is up to them to vote right in the next elections or continuously sing and dance while a few politically untouchable people are enjoying themselves. Poor financial management will lead the municipality to total collapse.”
The Chairperson of the South African Municipal Workers Un-ion, Mr James Sikhwari, said that financial management at the Makhado Municipality is not in goods hands. “As workers, we demand an urgent intervention by the national government to dissolve the current management team and appoint tan administrator to run the municipality. Some of us with debit and stop orders are badly affected by getting our salaries late.”
He added that they wonder if the municipality is currently failing to pay R4 million in one month, what about December, when most of the workers will be getting bonuses. “The management team lacks potential and financial skills; they are incompetent.”