The DA has asked for the Kabuso forensic report on Makana Municipality to be tabled before Council at its next sitting.
In a media release today Wednesday 3 September the party alleges that the report, commissioned by Council, has been hidden in an attempt to protect “corrupt officials and politicians” implicated in it.
The party also said they would seek access to the documents under the Promotion of the Access to Information Act (PAIA).
DA Frontier Constituency Leader Andrew Whitfield told Grocott’s Mail yesterday that the Kabuso report implicates individual officials and politicians in Makana Municipality. He said he would submit the application to make public the circumstances that led to Makana being placed under administration last week.
On Thursday 28 August Minister of Co-operative Governance Pravin Gordhan placed Makana Municipality under administration.
During his visit to Grahamstown Gordhan said the finances of the municipality would be thoroughly investigated, “Just to reassure ourselves that public funds are spent properly…”
Earlier this year, as finance minister, Gordhan told municipalities he would withhold grant funding unless they implemented the recommendations of forensic reports. Following this year’s elections, Gordhan oversees municipal governance as Minister of Cooperative Government and Traditional Affairs (Cogta).
In today’s statement, the DA said it would consider laying charges against those found to be guilty of political interference in the administration of the municipality.
“The DA will now deal with matters from the ground. It will no longer be talking to the Mayor or any other official, but rather hear the issues from the people who are facing these challenges,” Whitfield said yesterday.
A DA delegation visited informal settlements in Grahamstown on Monday 1 September, while Deputy Minister of Water and Sanitation, Pamela Tshwete attended a briefing in the Council Chambers. In Zolani informal settlement, they were shown a sewage spill leaking into a family home.
The DA’s Nokonwaba Matikinca, shadow MEC for Cooperative Government and Traditional Affairs, said after visiting the township that she planned to lay charges with the Human Rights Commission against the government of the Eastern Cape.
“Sewage going into someone’s house is a violation of their individual rights,” she said.
Also part of the DA delegation was former Eastern Cape Premier Nosimo Balindlela, now shadow minister of Water and Sanitation.
“In one area we visited we were refused drinking water because the residents said the water was contaminated,” Balindlela told Grocott’s Mail. Balindlela, a former premier of the Eastern Cape, welcomed the fact that the municipality had been placed under administration.
“These issues are not new, but rather have been neglected by municipal officials,” she said. Balindlela said the municipality needed to employ skilled people who knew their jobs.
A 2011 forensic report by the same East London-based auditing firm, Kabuso, revealed maladministration in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality and implicated former mayor Nceba Faku as a key player in several events.
The forensic report is still to be tabled in that Council. In East London, four Buffalo City officials were charged with defrauding the municipality in connection with R6m meant to be used to transport mourners to former president Nelson Mandela’s funeral.
Today’s media release said DA Chief Whip in the Makana Council, Councillor Brian Fargher, had written to the acting Makana Municipal Manager, Themba Mnguni, and the Speaker, Rachel Madinda-Isaac, today, requesting that the Kabuso report be tabled.