Municipality cuts costs by downsizing fleet

Municipal vehicles that were ‘released’ after measure to cut costs have been implemented.

Speculation has been rife about why several municipal vehicles were loaded onto a truck and left town last Tuesday.

Is the municipality bankrupt? They can’t pay for the vehicles. This will compromise service delivery…

These were some of the comments from locals who called the Estcourt News during the course of the week.

While some residents were curious to know why the municipality had decided to decrease the municipal fleet, some residents accused Inkosi Langalibalele Local Municipality of mismanaging funds, which resulted in the vehicles being “taken away.”

A media release from the municipality explained that this decision was taken in line with cost cutting measures.

Mayor Jabulile Mbele explained:

“The council of Inkosi Langalibalele Municipality adopted the MFMA Circular 82 of 2016, which was a directive to all municipalities to implement. This circular seeks to guide the municipalities on how to embark on cost containment measures that will ensure that unnecessary costs are limited, if not altogether eliminated. Hence, the Cost Containment Measures of Inkosi Langalibalele became part of the documents submitted together with the 2017/2018 budget as required.

“The circular further outlines a number of areas that need to be assessed and reviewed for the sake of cost containment. These are things that the municipality should implement to bring into effect the cost cutting measures, thereby channelling the money as far as possible to service delivery. It is true that because of the shortage of council-owned vehicles to be used for service delivery, the former council decided to lease a number of vehicles from various companies as an interim intervention.

“However, the current council views this leasing of vehicles as taking a huge chunk of council funding that can have been used for service delivery. In lieu of this circular, and having explored other possible interventions to supplement the council-owned fleet, the municipality have decided to cut down on the leased vehicle expenditure. It must be noted that it’s only the leased vehicles from one company that were released after carefully considering its impact on service delivery.

“It must also be understood that this was after the lapsing of the contract between the municipality and the company itself. The main focus is once again to review and do away with contracts where the municipality is not getting any value for money.”

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Ronelle Mungaroo

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