Municipality of Munisa owes R5m

THE Munisa municipality has failed to pay its debts for the past eight months and its bid to obtain extra funds has also been dismissed.

The municipality is struggling to pay an estimated R5 million debt it owes to service providers and others who have sought the assistance of debt collectors.

A document in Sowetan's possession shows that more than R3 million is owed to the provincial department of roads and transport.

According to a letter leaked to Sowetan and written by roads department head Ntau Letebele the department said it was worried about the municipality's failure to settle the amount owed.

A part of the letter says: "Your municipality failed to honour an agency agreement that was signed by the department of roads and transport and the Musina municipality, hence the sum of R3334604 is still outstanding."

The municipality had promised it would pay but no payment has been made since April year.

"We can confirm that Musina is among the municipalities that owe us money," Letebele said.

Sowetan also learnt that the plan to have the national treasury pump additional money into the municipality has resulted in the Musina municipality's account being closed.

A letter from municipal manager Abram Leruli to the treasury confirmed that the municipality was without funds.

In the letter Leruli claimed that the municipality was forced to use its own income to comply with the Municipal Finance Management Act.

A senior official from the treasury confirmed yesterday that the municipality had sought extra funds and that the request had not been granted.

Another senior official in the municipality told Sowetan that the municipality was "on its last legs" and had been thwarting the sheriff's attempts to attach its properties by promising payments but ultimately failing to do so.

It is alleged that the municipality had also failed to pay Musina NTK and stationery suppliers.

An insider at NTK confirmed that the municipality's account had been closed as it was in arrears.

Municipality spokesperson Wilson Dzebu could not be reached for comment despite repeated attempts to contact him by phone.