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North West municipalities which were placed under administration have gone from "bad to worse", despite their administrators earning about R150000 a month to turn them around.
Barely six months after the administration order was revoked, North West cooperative governance MEC Paul Sebegoe has told the municipalities to shape up or face being placed under administration - again.
Between 2009 and early last year, former North West premier Maureen Modiselle placed eight municipalities under administration as a result of the deterioration and collapse of their financial, governance, administrative and service delivery systems.
The municipalities of Tswaing, Moses Kotane, Madibeng, Ventersdorp, Taung, Naledi, Ngaka Modiri Molema, Ditsobotla and Mafikeng were placed under administration.
Modiselle, with the help of beleaguered Cooperative Governance Minister Sicelo Shiceka, who has been on sick leave since February and has been slated by the public protector for abusing public funds in a separate case, dispatched administrators to turn these municipalities around.
But some administrators in his "intervention teams" are alleged by the The SA Municipal Workers' Union to have mismanaged the turnaround process.
The union has accused certain administrators of claiming excessive travel expenses, buying furniture using council funds and rigging tenders.
It has accused Greater Taung Local Municipality acting municipal manager Mpho Mofokeng of spending council funds amounting to R15000 on furniture.
The union is also accusing him of authorising the payment of a R10000 travel claim for two trips he made between Johannesburg and Taung; and of spending more than R35000 of taxpayers' money on repairs to his BMW. He has strongly denied the allegations, describing them as ''hogwash''.
The Times is in possession of a Samwu dossier containing the allegations against Mofokeng.
Addressing the media last week on the status of municipalities in the province, Sebegoe said he viewed the allegations against Mofokeng "in a serious light".
He said: "An investigation has been commissioned into the matter and a preliminary report will be tabled within 14 days to a special council sitting."
Mofokeng said yesterday: "Claiming money is part of my contract. I can claim twice every month [for travelling between Taung and Johannesburg]. And it doesn't say the mayor must sign. The AG cleared and found that there was no fraud." He said the furniture was bought for a staff member that had been deployed from the provincial government in Mafikeng. "It is in the asset register of the municipality."
The DA claims that Tswaing Municipality, which includes the towns of Sannieshof, Delareyville and Ottosdal, is exceeding its salary and wages bill by R3.3-million a month; owes Eskom R17-million and is "losing" about 69% of its electricity due to distribution and maintenance problems.
Credit to: Times Live