THE SOUTH African National Civic Organisation (SANCO) in Blouberg, Limpopo, has accused political principals in the local municipality of corruption, maladministration and nepotism.
The community structure’s chairperson Hlengani Baloyi claims the municipality is teetering on the brink of collapse.
He blames acting municipal manager Thabo Magabane for alleged lack of service delivery and maladministration.
However, Magabane dismisses Baloyi’s claims, saying the SANCO leader is spreading malicious lies because he is ill-informed.
Baloyi has accused Magabane and Mayor Sammy Selamolela of awarding tenders without advertising them.
He claims the contracts have been awarded to the duo’s allies, friends and family members.
“As residents of Blouberg, we are shocked to see contractors suddenly working on projects that have never been advertised. What is even appalling is that these tenders are awarded to politically connected people,” Baloyi said.
“Tenders are awarded to incompetent contractors who continue to do poor workmanship. We are concerned that the municipality will collapse and that service delivery will come to a complete halt.”
Blouberg, about 100 kms north-west of Polokwane, is one of the myriad municipalities in the country run by acting senior officials.
Baloyi claims that, in the absence of a full-time municipal manager and chief financial officer, rampant maladministration proliferates in the impoverished municipality.
He added: “We are well aware that in the procurement processes, prices are inflated and this amount to corruption. There is a lot of fruitless expenditure at the municipality. At some stage, the municipality bought one toilet paper at a cost of R60. This means when they purchased 1000 tissues, they spent R60, 000. Why waste such a lot of money when poor people are in dire need for basic services?”
Magabane rejected Baloyi’s claims as baseless.
“Baloyi is far from the truth as far as matters of the council are concerned. He is being misled by people who are also in the dark. However, I am inviting him to come to the municipal offices so that we can clarify him,” Magabane said,
He dared Baloyi to lay criminal charges if he suspected corruption, or use the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) to request confidential municipal information if he so wished.
“He must come to my office with a letter requesting information relating to procurement of municipal property. I will provide him with all the necessary information he needs. If Baloyi or anyone suspects that there is any form of corruption taking place at the municipality, those people are advised to go to the nearest police station and open a criminal case.”
Baloyi’s corruption allegations come just three months before the August 3 local government elections.
Rival politicians, community leaders and activists are known for accusing each other of fraud, corruption and financial mismanagement on the eve of elections.