DA claims about budget and over R1 billion being wasted untruthful: Metro

JUNE 2, 2016

The state of finance of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality is stable, secure and good – and there is absolutely zero possibility of the Budget failing, of R1.77 billion having been wasted, or of another qualified audit report based on the state of the institution’s finances, Johann Mettler, the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality's Acting City Manager, said on Tuesday.

He was responding to claims by the Democratic Alliance (DA) that the Metro would be placed under administration within 30 days after more than R1 billion was wasted.

"The Budget that was tabled and noted at the Council meeting of 31 May 2016 would in fact have been approved were it not for the technicality that the prescribed seven days notice had not been met . In terms of a Council resolution taken, the budget will be again tabled at another Council meeting, scheduled for 7 June 2016," Mettler said.

"The amount of R1,77 billion relates to audited findings for the 2014/15 financial years – this amount was already in the public domain in November 2015 and has absolutely nothing to do with the current Budget."

He further said that the reference to the amount as being lost "to wasteful, fruitless and irregular expenditure” is baseless – these were simply instances of officials failing to keep proper records or following due procedures.

"Although this is regrettable in itself - and has since been addressed through stringent measures – the vast proportion of that amount was spent for the intended legitimate purposes, in the interest of the residents of the City.

"The Municipality now has cash holdings of R2 billion in the bank and we hold the second highest Moody’s credit rating among all the metropolitan municipalities in the country."