JOHANNESBURG- The African National Congress (ANC) in Tshwane has accused Solly Msimanga’s administration of leading the municipality to a decline in finances and irregularities.
Regional chairperson Kgosientso Ramokgopa said the ANC caucus has raised the matters in council and finance committee meetings but were met by ferocious rejection from the coalition ranks especially the DA which has claimed to uphold the constitution and its edicts.
“Transparency and financial prudence are now replaced by irregular activities in the City’s treasury department. Cllr Solly Msimanga, Cllr Mare-Lise Fourie (MMC for Finance) and City Manager Mr. Moeketsi Mosola have been in cohorts to salvage what is left in the dry coffers of the City by requesting National Treasury to rescue City of Tshwane,” said Ramokgopa.
“The City of Tshwane has been plunged into a financial crisis of unprecedented proportions. The extent of the crises has required a Provincial and ultimately a National financial rescue intervention in terms of section 139 of the Constitution, read with chapter 13 of the MFMA.”
Ramokgopa said they viewed Msimanga’s failure to honour democracy by breaching the requirements of section 54 of the MFMA in dealing with the financial crisis, to be a serious matter that denigrates the root of democratic institutions and they would be taking legal advice on the issue.
“Cllr. Msimanga must be brought to understand that he has not been elected to a five-year dictatorship of the city, but that this is a democracy that requires of him to deal with certain information and processes openly and transparently. The Democratic Alliance has been installed in a minority government on 3 August 2016. It inherited a budget from the ANC that provided for a surplus of revenue over expenditure in excess of R 2 billion. It was in full control of this budget, it made the changes thereto that it required during the adjustments budget process and it led the public service that implemented the budget and collected the revenue,” he said.
Ramokgopa said in the first year of its government, the mayor and his Mayoral Committee team ran the city into the ground. He said they managed to notch up an unprecedented R 2.4 billion operating deficit despite the fact that it still ended the year with a surplus of revenue over expenditure of R 640 million.
“While in complete control over all functions of government and the budget, Cllr. Msimanga’s government still has the temerity to blame the ANC for the results of their bad management. Now, five months into the financial year of the first budget prepared and approved under his auspices to give expression to the DA’s election platform, in full control of every aspect of government, the financial status of the city has degenerated further to the extent that for the first time in history of this democracy a Metro had to apply for financial rescue in terms of section 139 of the Constitution,” he said.
Ramokgopa challenged Msimanga and the National Treasury to release the full text of the request for financial rescue.
According to Ramokgopa, there are also a number of departments that are overspending. They are:
• Regional Operations and Co-ordination Department projected overspending of R9.2 million
• Environment and Agricultural Management Department is projecting an overspending of R10 million
• Group Legal Department is projecting an overspending of R56.9 million mainly on costs
• Group Audit and Risk is projecting an overspending of R163 million
• Shared Services is projecting an overspending of R90 million mainly
• Metro Police – Over expenditure of 103 million.
Mare-Lise Fourie, MMC for Finance blamed the situation on Ramokgopa and his administration.
“It is deeply regrettable but completely expected that the former Executive Mayor of Tshwane used his press conference to try and absolve his administration of the utter mess he left the city in before losing at the 03 August polls last year. The statements made are without basis and in some instances deliberate misrepresentation of the facts. Instead of using his briefing to take responsibility for his administration of the city and its coffers, he elected to twist the truth and in so doing has lost all credibility and has sunk to new depths,” she said.