Looting on a grand scale as some KZN municipalities collapse

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File: KwaZulu-Natal Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs authorities say they are rooting out maladministration and corruption across municipalities in the province.

DURBAN - Some of KwaZulu Natal’s municipalities have collapsed because of fraud, corruption, and maladministration.

Three damning forensic reports at these ailing municipalities paint a shocking picture of looting on a grand scale, costing taxpayers millions.

Mpofana in Mooi River, in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, is a small struggling municipality now under administration.

It blows up to R500,000 per month renting municipal cars, stemming from a questionable contract.

This has totalled more than R24-million in just under five years and the mayor concedes, this is not justifiable.

“We are having negotiations to see if we can cut some of the vehicles and that will be sustainable for the municipality because it is true that the R520 [0000] we are paying is not affordable since we have to pay Eskom, we have to pay other creditors. So, we are reviewing that contract,” Mpofana Municipality Mayor Xolani Duma.

To make matters worse, the municipality owes Eskom more than R90-million and is facing prospects of a power cut.

READ: Eskom silent on 'R100bn request' to government

KwaZulu-Natal Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs authorities say they are rooting out maladministration and corruption across municipalities in the province.

“We’ve completed14 investigations and there eight investigations underway,” said KZN Cogta MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube.

“There’s quite a number of those investigations that we’ve got to table. 

“That is why to us it’s very important that the NPA and the whole prosecution is also ready to take it from where we’ve left of.”

Dube-Ncube says service delivery is severely hampered.

“Maladministration, corruption does cripple service delivery in that the monies that are supposed to be going to services are diverted one way or the other,” she said.

More forensic investigations are underway in other struggling municipalities in the province and criminal cases will be laid against those found to have been involved in wrongdoing.

So far, Cogta says it has recovered a total of R8-million and has fired some officials.