Ricochet News

96% of USDG spent says Nelson Mandela Bay Metro

By Afikile Lugunya - Jul 30, 2018
96% of USDG spent says Nelson Mandela Bay Metro

Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Executive Mayor, Athol Trollip, who was accompanied by the municipality’s MMC for Budget and Treasury, Cllr Retief Odendaal, and Acting CFO, Jackson Ngcelwane, on Monday revealed that the Metro has to date spent 96.6% of its Urban Settlement Development Grant (USDG).

The USDG, worth over R178 million, was received as an incentive from the National Treasury, which re-directed it from other municipalities that had failed to spend their grants for one reason or the other.

The money came unexpected and had to be used within a month while it was not budgeted, so new projects had to be discussed and new resolutions had to be made in council in order to spend the money – or it would go back to National Treasury.

Trollip said that the money came at a great time as the current drought has seen the Metro’s dam levels reaching crisis levels.

“We spent a lot of that money at the Noortgedacht project to upgrade our infrastructure in order to improve capacity of that pump station while we are waiting for phase 3 to be done,” he described.

Clllr Odendaal described how happy they are that they were able to spend almost 100% of the grant.

“There will be rollover application made to National treasury, we don’t foresee any problems with those applications, which are currently in the process of facilitating them and the track records from this is amazing as it is something that we are actually proud of,” he described.

Trollip added that the municipality had to write off R8.8 billion of irregular expenditure, but council hasn’t discussed that because of meeting postponements.

“That still hasn’t been written off by council, but was written off by the municipal public accounts because we haven’t had a long council meeting, which has lasted long enough to deal with it.

“That history makes treasury to watch us with eagle eyes and we believe that expenditure has occurred in a regular fashion according to all the prescripts and therefore we should be in line to get more rainfall funding,” Trollip described.