Ricochet News

Buffalo City Municipality Deputy Mayor and a Councillor must pay back wasted R200 000

Feb 7, 2017
Buffalo City Municipality Deputy Mayor and a Councillor must pay back wasted R200 000

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Eastern Cape on Tuesday demanded that Buffalo City Municipality Deputy Mayor, Zoliswa Matana, and Councillor Sindiswa Gomba "immediately repay almost R200 000 that they wasted on extremely expensive flights, by not travelling to India last week".

"Their non-refundable tickets were cancelled at the last minute, and have thus wasted almost R200,000.00 which is a shocking waste of public money," said DA Caucus Leader for Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality, Cllr Terence Fritz.

"While it is unconscionable that air tickets could cost so much money, it is even more unconscionable that this money could be thrown down the drain by the Deputy Mayor and Councillor Gomba."

Fritz said that the two were supposed to fly to Mumbai as representatives of the municipality in a Tourism Road Show organised by South African Tourism, but paid for out of municipal funds.

"Flight tickets to Mumbai for the Deputy Mayor and Councillor Gomba cost Buffalo City about R97 246 and R83 502 respectively, yet a simple price check by the DA reveals that a First Class return ticket to Mumbai costs about R47 657 for each person," he said.

"For councillors who should certainly not be flying First Class, the exorbitant ticket prices paid by Buffalo City, far higher than commercial First Class fares, are suspicious.

"It is also apparent that Matana and Gomba should have booked flexible fares that they could have cancelled for free, but they neglected to do so, causing the enormous loss of almost R200,000.00."

Fritz said that the fact is that Matana and Gomba cancelled their non-refundable tickets, on short notice, and incurred wasteful expenditure of almost R200,000.00, which they must pay back.

"The DA will table an urgent motion in Buffalo City, forcing the Deputy Mayor and Councillor Gomba to urgently repay this amount."