ALLEGATIONS of corruption within the Giyani Local Municipality have given rise to calls for the council to be dissolved and a new leadership elected.
The Gazankulu Liberation Congress in the Greater Giyani Local Municipality is leading the charge and has already started the process to effect the change.
Secretary-General Gift Maswanganyi said they have instructed the legal team of their grievances which should be presented before the Court.
“There are many issues in this Municipality that are urgent. Corruption is very rife, there is no service delivery which is why there are service delivery protests every Monday for roads and water supplies to mention a few. There was a contract in relation to Giyani water crisis and the labourers have not been paid and they are always picketing at that premises. We feel the Municipality has contravened and are in transgression of their mandate,” Maswanganyi said.
He added that the only option they were left with is to seek a court order that would compel them to dissolve the municipality and grant them an opportunity to hold by-elections for the municipality to have a new Council.
“The current Council is still responsible for their investment of the R158 Million in the VBS Mutual bank. That is very bad for a municipality that is not able to provide services for the people. We cannot sustain our patience over people who are not ready to serve,” he said.
Maswanganyi said that democracy is not practised at the municipality as they do not entertain letters from parties outside the ANC and on behalf of their masses. he said they have considered the Court route and will later embark on a mass action.
He said that opposition parties such as the ACDP and the EFF shared the same sentiments but the EFF wanted the motion to be put under their banner which they did not agree upon.
“We are up in arms as the GLC to fight for the rights of the people who are marginalized because the democracy system is not benefitting people in Giyani but only a few individuals. The tender systems have been colonized and do not work for our people hence we are going to act around the matter,” Maswanganyi added.
EFF Councillor at the Greater Giyani Local Municipality Peter Mabulana said that they will support the by-elections suggestion when taken to Court since it was also on their cards but would not support the idea of dissolving the municipality since services have to be rendered to the people. He said corruption was rife.
“Through our efforts, the CFO and the Technical director are now on suspension and we are currently pushing for a no-confidence motion against the Mayor and the Speaker because they are the ones perpetuating corruption at this municipality. Other political parties promised to support the motion and we are also having ANC Councillors who are willing to rally behind us should the matter be put before the Council,” Mabulana said
But the Spokesperson for the Municipality Steven Mabunda dismissed all the claims by the parties and said that the utterances were publicity stunts by the Gazankulu Liberation Congress.
“I suspect that the Gazankulu Liberation movement was only allied just for popularity by the incumbent. They are a new organization that is eyeing some seats in the Council in the near future. The issues that the protests in our municipality revolve around are the issues of the tar roads and we are not responsible for that, Road Agency Limpopo and the provincial Public Works are responsible in this regard,” Mabunda said.
He said that it was no secret that the municipality was among those municipalities that have invested money with VBS Mutual Bank. Several municipalities in the province have lost R1 billion of taxpayers money that was irregularly invested in VBS. They include Giyani, Vhembe District Municipality, Tubatse/Fetakgomo, and Elias Motsoaledi. The money was diverted from municipal projects to the bank in breach of National Treasury regulations. Reserve Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago placed the bank under curator ship in March after it failed to pay its investors. A probe by the administrator later revealed that about R900 million could not be accounted for.
It is alleged that some senior politicians in Limpopo had pocketed a four percent commission from VBS in exchange for instructing the municipalities to invest in the bank. Sources say some of the municipalities are on the verge of failing to pay salaries following the VBS scandal.