THE Democratic Alliance has called on the public protector, Busisiwe Mkhwebane, to investigate the Giyani Municipality in Limpopo, claiming that it is in a financial crisis.
The party said the situation was caused by wasteful expenditure to the tune of R64.4 million for the renovation of the civic centre.
It is alleged that in the 2013/2014 financial year, the municipality allocated R40 million for the extension of the centre but the contractor vanished without completing the project.
DA Ward Councillor Hasani Shivambu said they have written to the Public Protector to probe the municipality’s financial stability.
He has also accused the municipality of dragging its feet in tracking down the contractor to recover the funds
“To date, no measures were taken by the municipality to locate the contractor to complete the project.
“In March 2015, Council approved a further R16 million towards the project without seeking a comprehensive report regarding the delay to complete the project.
“Another R8.4 million was allocated in the 2017/2018 financial year while the millions that had been wasted could not be accounted for. The DA conducted an oversight visit to the centre and can confirm that it has been abandoned since 2014,” he said.
Shivambu added that despite the large sum of money injected into the centre, it did not appear as though it would reach completion any time soon.
“This money could have been used for the upliftment of our people. At least 644 RDP houses could have been built using that money.
“It is unthinkable that the people’s money is wasted to build an unnecessary multi-million rand building. Instead of prioritizing the people of Giyani, officials in this ANC-run municipality loot the municipal coffers to enrich themselves,” said Shivambu.
Greater Giyani Municipality spokesperson Steven Mavunda has denied the allegations.
He said the DA’s statement was misleading and devoid of truth.
He said the centre was currently accommodating the municipal staff. He added that the civic centre had been completed and that they were waiting for electrical installations in order to officially open it.
“The extension of the said offices is actually attached to the old building.
“How do you then say that the building is abandoned?” The municipality paid almost R46,4million for the contract as opposed to the R64million the DA claims.
“The contractor completed his work as per his work scope.
“For the offices to be ready for occupation, some specialized services such as IT, security, Fire amongst others need to be installed.
“The municipality will start a process to appoint a consultant for the installation of those specialized services,” Mavunda told African Times.