The local Sherriff again attached furniture and vehicles of the Gariep Municipality on Friday, 7 September after pension payments from employees that should have been paid over the SA Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) were not done. The chaos in this municipality continues despite a visit by the Premier, Noxolo Kiviet, to the area a week ago.
With on-going weekly attachments of municipal assets it is clear this municipality is in in dire financial straits and needs urgent provincial intervention.
The Gariep Municipality is bankrupt! The Municipal Manager must be sacked forthwith.
I have written to the MEC for Local Government, Mlibo Qoboshiyane, to ask him to invoke Section 139 of the Constitution. This provision allows for a provincial government to take over the affairs of a financially ailing municipality.
In addition, my colleague in parliament, Annette Steyn, has written to the Public Protector for an investigation.
Furthermore, I will be asking the MEC why he has been slow in implementing emergency measures to rectify this municipality and why an existing forensic report has not been made available to the Provincial Legislature.
Due to the seriousness of the issue I have written to the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Local Government, asking him to convene a committee visit to Gariep to investigate this issue.
The lack of decisive political intervention from the Premier, the MEC and his department has contributed to this latest financial crisis.
Gariep is a poor municipality with 65% of their residents being indigent.