South Africa News

Busisiwe Mkhwebane implores Limpopo municipalities to implement Motau VBS Bank report

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane on Thursday implored Limpopo municipalities to implement recommendations of reports on the now-defunct VBS Mutual Bank.

Several municipalities in the province and others in Gauteng and the North West lost billions of rands in taxpayers’ money by irregularly investing over R3.1 billion into the bank, violating several financial prescripts.

However, years after the initial report by the Public Protector and later the forensic report by Terry Motau, municipalities in Limpopo are yet to discipline councillors who acted unlawfully.

The Public Protector said the office directed the council speakers of Makhado, Greater Giyani, Tubatse Fetakgomo, among others, to act on the outstanding recommendations of the Motau report and also take appropriate steps to ensure audit committees are properly constituted, but nothing has come of this.

Other instructions were for the provincial cooperative governance, human settlements, and traditional affairs MECs to submit regular reports to the National Treasury on the implementation of the remedial action, but this is also outstanding.

Although there are court cases underway involving some of the high-profile individuals who were implicated in the scandal, the statement by the Public Protector shows that little to no attention has been paid to ensuring there is accountability in councils.

Mkhwebane has met with Limpopo Premier Stan Mathabatha and other officials as part of a national roadshow where she reminded them of their obligations.

The municipalities that were involved in the VBS saga unlawfully invested large amounts of public funds, which were to be used for service delivery in the bank, with the Vhembe District Municipality losing R300 million of more than R1 billion that was invested.


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