In a previous statement, the DA ensured that it would hold the Mantsopa Local Municipality accountable for its financial mismanagement issue. During a Provincial Public Accounts Committee Sitting, DA members of the Free State Provincial Legislature demanded answers from The Mantsopa Municipal Manager, CFO and Mayor on the outcome of the Auditor General’s report.
DA MPL, David Van Vuuren, questioned why the recommendations of the Public Protector’s report on incorrect tariffs had not yet been implemented. The CFO, Daniel Takalani, admitted:
- That the AG report was correct.
- The required recommendations had not yet been implemented.
- And that he would ensure that a process is followed to do so.
The DA also inquired about the inflated tariffs sent to NERSA for approval, signed by the budget manager, Kgojane Seleke, after the council had adopted lower tariffs during a council meeting held on 31 May 2022.
The municipal CFO admitted that he was aware of the irregularity and promised that this impropriety will be corrected, followed by a report to the Municipal Public Accounts Committee explaining what happened and recommending that consequence management be implemented.
The municipality has acknowledged incorrect tariff charges since 2018, but not taking any steps to correct the matter. The Mayor, also aware of the irregular charges since 2018, has to date refused to take action against those who are allowing the fraud and corruption to run rife in the municipality.
Good governance of public funds is crucial to economic growth and job creation which can bring change to the residents of Mantsopa. The DA will continue monitoring the situation and if necessary follow legal steps to ensure accountability of municipal officials.