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OUTA queries questionable budget items

The OUTA Local Govan Mbeki Branch has written a letter to the Govan Mbeki Municipal Manager querying some questionable budget items.

Noted in its letter to the municipality, OUTA Local highlighted the budgeting of vehicles to the value of R1 600 000 for the Mayor and Speaker as well as R 7 000 000 set aside for two-way radios and infrastructure.

“By removing expensive vehicles from its budget, OUTA believes, the Govan Mbeki Municipality will be in a better position to address its financial troubles. These are some of the simple solutions to create the funding needed to clear its debt with Eskom and Rand Water,” said OUTA Local Manager, Michael Holenstein.

OUTA also requested clarity on R 8 400 000, which according to the municipal budget is allocated for the loss of assets at the Embalenhle office. OUTA has uncovered that Govan Mbeki’s budget allows for a deficit which is in contravention of the Municipal Finance Management Act, known as the MFMA.  According to the MFMA, a municipalities budget must be cashed-back.

The GMM has until 20 April 2018 to respond to OUTA’s legal team.

Holenstein added that this was a good opportunity for the newly appointed Municipal Management team to turn things around in the GMM as it is evident that the municipality is in a downward spiral. “The new officials can now investigate the whereabouts of municipal assets and turn things around to the benefit of the people in the GMM jurisdiction.

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse, known as (OUTA), recently set up a local branch in the Govan Mbeki Municipality to address maladministration and corruption within the local government.

The OUTA Local Government branches operate independently and are not aligned or affiliated to any political party. The Govan Mbeki OUTA local branch is supported and funded by the local citizens, business and other donor institutions to conduct the work of  investigations, research, communication and litigation to ensure accountability in the affairs of the GMM.

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