Sadly, one cannot say that the council meeting held last Thursday at the Wembezi Multipurpose Centre was conducted in a professional manner…
If you ever thought meetings at municipal level are dull and sometimes boring, well this is certainly not the case at the Inkosi Langalibalele Local Municipality council meeting. The meeting was highlighted by the many screaming matches, which at time evoked laughter.
It began with the routine opening prayer, notice of the meeting and so on. Minutes of 11 previous meetings had to be confirmed then agreed and seconded by council members. During the announcements of items on the agenda, Inkatha Freedom Party Councillor Mthembeni Majola took the opportunity to make a report regarding his arrest made by the Hawks.
“I was flabbergasted when I was arrested and faced charges of conspiracy to murder. During the proceedings, the Investigating Officer refused to testify under oath,” explained Councillor Majola.
He went on to thank everyone who supported him during the time of his arrest. The meeting broke out in laughter when Councillor Majola reminded everyone when he had 22 charges filed against him for exposing his genitals to the public in 2009, all of these charges he was acquitted for.
The Municipal Manager, Mr Mkhize announced that the housing projects are experiencing hiccups with processing and verifying documentation.
Internal investigations that were requested when the municipality went under administration will begin next month, said Mr Mkhize.
African National Congress Councillor Edith Lite wanted to know why the Integrated Development Plan (IDP) was not submitted.
“What is the delay? Do we want to reach another declaimer audit report?” she questioned.
In unison, councillors demanded to know why the security company, KSA and the Jennings Road project contractors were overpaid.
“We have no money, yet projects are allocated more money than necessary, this is very sad,” expressed Councillor Strydom.
The Ministerial Administrator, Mr Manda went through the recovery plan. The current overall financial position of the municipality as per the bank statement is R12 107 154.77 including grants and investments. The value of creditors is R76 671 005.00, meaning the municipality has a shortfall of R64.5 million.
Mr Manda stressed the importance of saving costs in order to rectify the shortfall. Costs will be reduced on the municipal fleet, office bearer’s fleet, security and employee costs.
The KSA Security contract came under scrutiny from Mr Manda. Some odd contract documentation was picked up, as well as an amount of R10 898 312.73 overcharged to the municipality. Councillors questioned the purpose of having security guards.
Mr Majola commented: “We are not loan sharks, why are we loaning KSA money?”
Councillors noted the progress and agreed on other areas to be investigated. Just after 3pm, when on the item of recruitment and appointment of a General Manager of the Development and Planning Services, councillors grew divided as they failed to agree on one recommendation.
The Speaker, Mr Mdakane tried to resolve the matter by taking a vote. This did not seem to work either and this was when half the councillors present took their belongings and walked out.
Without the quorum the council meeting could not continue, forcing the meeting to come to an end.