Ricochet News

Metro aims to recover millions from provincial government

Aug 14, 2017
Metro aims to recover millions from provincial government

The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality has in previous years forked out around R200 million of its own money on housing projects and never received refunds due to it, Executive Mayor, Athol Trollip, said on Sunday while announcing that forensic experts and the Metro's officials are working to recover the money.

"Most of this should have been funded by the Eastern Cape Provincial Housing Subsidy," the Mayor explained.

"The Housing 'Revolving Fund' was set up to allow the Metro to pay contractors up front. In theory this allowed work to continue, with the Province committed to refunding the Municipality at a later stage.

"However, it appears that at some point the Province stopped refunding the Metro entirely, this despite the Metro money continuing to flow out to housing contractors."

Trollip said that it is clear from a number of examples, that former African National Congress (ANC) led Nelson Mandela Bay administrations "acted carelessly with public money".

He said; "The implementation of informal systems such as this was done to allow money to move quickly through the Metro coffers at its detriment and to the expense of proper service delivery.

"This coalition government is working to build a well run city, where systems are put in place to prevent irregularities whilst at the same time red tape is minimised to attract and promote investment."

The Mayor added that Mayoral Committee Member for Human Settlements, Cllr Nqaba Bhanga, has so far transformed the Directorate into one that leads by example.

"It is evident that the human settlements senior managment, headed up by Miss Nolwandle Gqiba, is committed to our vision of delivering better services and stopping corruption.

"If evidence is indeed found of money owing to the Municipality by the Province, we will ensure that this is refunded speedily as the money was earmarked for basic service delivery and specifically the construction of desperately needed houses," he said.

"In order to determine the exact amount owing, forensic experts will focus on the following key areas. Firstly, it will need to be established whether a service level agreement exists between the Metro and the Province, and that it contains clear roles and responsibilities for both spheres of government.

"Then a comparison of actual cost versus committed cost of approved housing projects, checking alignment with the subsidy paid by the Province.

"Finally, all related systems and processes, document management and internal controls will be fully assessed. Recommendations will be made, where possible, to deal with housing delivery challenges using proper and approved accounting systems.

"While many challenges lie ahead, together we have been able to move the Metro forward again."