Maruleng municipality continues to be on the spotlight for wrong reasons and the rot is deepening amid lack of proper services to the poorest of the poor. The impediments relate not to issues of policy formulation and implementation but lack of political will and the irregularities as occasioned by senior officials.
On the radar currently are the issues of the Municipal Manager who was placed on a twelve days special leave pending investigations by the Municipal Public Accounts Committee on alleged financial irregularities and his failure to implement council resolutions. What is more disturbing is the glaring reality that he is conniving with some of the councillors from the governing African National Congress.
A special sitting today the 14th February 2018 considered a Municipal Public Accounts Committee (MPAC) report. The findings of the committee report implicate the Mayor and several other senior officials.
The Mayor and these senior officials are said to have irregularly approved the unlawful acts of the Municipal Manager including the signing of documents for contracts. After lengthy and robust debates council resolved to extend the special leave of the Municipal Manager by a further fourteen days to allow it to exhaust some pending legal issues.
The Mayor was mandated to write a letter to the Municipal Manager to officially inform him of its intention to suspend him. Council also extended the acting stint of Ms. Mokonyane L as Acting Municipal Manager by fourteen days. The most drastic resolution taken by council was the termination of the waste removal truck contract and that the municipality should use its own truck with immediate effect.
It was also resolved that the Municipal Manager should repay the difference of the money he got due to his unlawful adjustment of his salary.
The municipality is limping and nothing will be corrected as long as the governing party continues to endorse its Political Management Team who are totally in the dark as it relates to their mandate. The major weakness in the whole conundrum is the total incapacity of the Municipal Mayor, the Chief Whip and the Speaker in executing their responsibilities. This provides a fertile ground for senior officials to privatize the directorates thereby doing everything recklessly without regard to the dictates of the law.
How can councillors be efficient and effective without offices and operating mainly like visitors in the institution? This situation is so skewed that the only time councillors come across work documents is when they are invited to attend council sittings and this makes it very difficult for them to peruse and decipher critical areas that require immediate attention.
This arrangement unleashes the activation of corrupt and fraudulent activities by senior officials and any other connected individual and groups. The centre is totally dysfunctional and therefore there is virtually no order. The governing ANC is treating the institution like a private concern and instead of acting decisively on any infringement by officials they always protect them because their own hands are not clean.
The opposition parties are at the moment working very hard to reverse the situation despite resistance from the governing party councillors.
The matter of the Municipal Manager and the further complicity of the Mayor and certain senior officials in the whole saga will test the tenacity of the opposition parties in achieving the intended goal of ridding the municipality of corruption and its related ills. It is clear that ANC councillors are operating with their hands tight on their backs and that only a determined opposition will be able to save the institution from sinking further down the drain. The rot is so deep that it will require a massive overhaul of the entire system in order to clean it.
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Politics & Governance