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DA claims Treasury has withheld NMB’s R330 million over Bobani mismanagement

By Afikile Lugunya - Jan 15, 2019
DA claims Treasury has withheld NMB’s R330 million over Bobani mismanagement

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Nelson Mandela Bay on Tuesday claimed that hundreds of millions of Rands in grant funding for the Bay have been withheld by National Treasury over mismanagement by Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Executive Mayor, Mongameli Bobani, and his African National Congress (ANC) dominated Mayoral Committee.

“Bobani and his ANC-led coalition of corruption have failed to deliver their 100 days in office report back, because there are only failures and a systematic collapse of the Municipality to report,” said DA Eastern Cape leader, Nqaba Bhanga.

He was joined by Nelson Mandela Bay Councillors, Rano Kayser and Retief Odendaal, at a press conference on Tuesday at their Eastern Cape Provincial offices in Walmer, Port Elizabeth.

Bhanga described Bobani and his mayoral committee as “thieves”, who continue to steal from the poor.

‘Nelson Mandela Bay in a bad financial state’

“National Treasury had to intervene when Cllr Bobani tried to interfere in tender processes. Treasury also had to intervene when the Bobani administration tried to submit a new business plan for long-term loan funding, without consulting National Treasury,” the DA’s Eastern Cape candidate for Premier.

“Towards the end of last year we also learned that Cllr Bobani was seriously compromising the IPTS fraud trial by preventing Johann Mettler, suspended City Manager, to testify in the trial.

“The IPTS fraud trial is a direct consequence of the findings of the forensic investigation into IPTS-project related fraud that was initiated at the request of National Treasury.”

Bhanga said that it is now more clear that ever that the relationship between the city and National Treasury has broken down irretrievably.

“Unfortunately, I have to inform you this morning that Treasury has not released the second trance of our Equitable Share due and payable to the city by December 2018.

“Details of the exact reasons as to why they elected to withhold the R330 Million in grant funding is still not clear, but it's safe to say that given the fact that the ANC in NMB refers to Treasury as a ‘Rogue Unit’ that there is no love lost between the Bobani/ANC-led administration and National Treasury,” he said.

“The aforesaid as well as the under-collection of service charges will no doubt plunge this city into a financial crisis and will entail that our deficit increase substantially.

“Deviations, against the recommendations of the Bid Adjudication Committee (BAC), are also becoming the norm in an administration that is designed to defraud the public purse.”

Public health and infrastructure

Bhanga also said that the City is dirty, “notwithstanding the fact that there should be co-operative tenders in place to ensure the Metro is cleaned-up”.

He added that, as from 1 July 2019, certain infrastructure projects are due to be funded by the loan-funding that has been approved by National Treasury.

“There is however no clarity on the future of these projects as the City is for example losing R500 million worth of water on a yearly basis,” Bhanga described.

“The same crisis is clear due to failing electrical infrastructure.

“The eradication of the bucket system has also stalled. Whilst the DA-led coalition governed, we eradicated 60% of 16 000 bucket toilets.”

‘Local economic development has stalled’

Bhanga said that the municipality’s Economic Development, Tourism and Agriculture Directorate has come to a total standstill.

“Grant funding for EPWP is not being spent. SMME contracts were awarded shortly before the end of 2018, but these SMME’s were not paid, because due processes were not followed.”

Bhanga said that on the roads, the IPTS bus fare from the Northern Areas has seen a tariff increase of 55%.

“Much needed maintenance needs to be done on all our sporting facilities,” the DA Eastern Cape leader said.

“The Corporate Services IT system collapsed and the Metro had to fly in a technician from China to fix it.”

Safety and security for residents

Bhanga said that critical vacancies exist whilst there is a total lack management regarding the insourcing of security services contracts.

“The NMB ANC-led coalition of corruption is focussed on corruption, empty promises and enriching the elite,” he described.

“What is clear is that Bobani’s ANC-led coalition of corruption has taken NMB backwards, showing that they never had the interests of the people at hand.

“As we head into elections let this be a lived example of the difference between when the DA and opposition govern for the people and when the ANC and its allies govern for themselves.

“We are working all across the Eastern Cape and South Africa to ensure that there is fair access to jobs; we have an honest and professional police service that restores order and keeps our people safe; the delivery of quality services is accelerated; we stop corruption and those found to be corrupt are jailed for 15-years; and that we secure our county’s border.”

‘Bobani’s 100 days in office report coming’

Meanwhile, Nelson Mandela Bay spokesperson, Mthubanzi Mniki, said that a report of what the Mayor and his Mayoral Committee have achieved in their first 100 days in office will be made public soon.

“We are still working on the report.

“In fact, we have been working on it since December and there is nothing to hide because work was done and the media is a witness,” he added. 

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