South Africa News

Ex-Tshwane administrator defends R4.4bn expenditure

Despite allegations of misspending, former Tshwane administrator Mpho Nawa this week defended the R4.4 billion spent by the administrators during their time at the helm of the capital’s council.

Nawa said the land purchase for the Mamelodi flood victims, Hammanskraal water crisis resolution plan, Covid-19 response programmes, and service delivery were just some of the initiatives the metro spent the money on.

On Thursday, Nawa tabled a report to Tshwane metro council on the administrative leadership to account for the deficit incurred in three months.

Nawa said the administration team were faced with several projects they needed to seal that were on the verge of closing before council was dissolved and additional pressure of responding to the Covid-19 outbreak.

“Immediately after the appointment of administrators, president Cyril Ramaphosa declared a national state of disaster, with a level 5 lockdown, due to the global Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.

“This posed a serious challenge to the work of the administrators, as the city was functioning with extremely limited (skeleton) staff.

“We needed to establish Covid-19 response programme, a process that occupied a lot of staff and they were affected and needed to take leave.

“We had to provide tankers to informal settlements to vulnerable communities and provide food for hundreds of the homeless while ensuring normal business of council takes place,” he said.

On the Hammanskraal water issue, the report detailed that the appointment of Ekurhuleni Water Care company, Magalies Water and Rand Water, to provide water solutions to the residents, with the first phase of its resolution plan currently in place.

Nawa’s report also touched on an attempt by administrators to resolve the metro’s billing issues and highlighted the administration team approved replacement of meters.

Nawa was confident over the work done by the administration team.

“Out of scale of 100%, I would say we completed 70% of the work needed to be done.”

However, the EFF was not convinced by Nawa’s report.

EFF regional leader MoAfrika Mabongwane said the finalisation of the memorandum of understanding with the water utility companies named, was something council had already done.

“There is nothing new that the administrators did. We are exactly where we were before we were dissolved.

“The administrators are merely blowing their own horns. The consideration of alternative water quality methodologies in Hammanskraal is not new and proving informal settlements in that area is not the solution.”

The DA was also unsatisfied with the report provided by Nawa.

Mayoral spokesperson Jordan Griffiths said the report did not account for billions of rands spent.

“The report omits the failure provided by the administration team, they effectively sabotaged the city’s financial position.

“They plunged the city into a three-week waste management crisis, and into a labour crisis after failing to negotiate with unions.

“They failed to implement any significant institutional change in the metro, but brought in chaos.”

The ANC councillors welcomed the financial report and further requested that it be analyzed by municipal public accounts committee, which council approved.

Further debate on the report were expected to take place following the committee’s analysis.

The report comes after mayor Randall Williams described the metro’s finances as a mess having incurred the deficit of R4.4 billion.

-The Citizen

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