municipality condones r30m overexpenditure

NKOMAZI municipality in Mpumalanga has been caught in the spotlight again, this time for allegedly condoning fruitless expenditure of more than R30million.

According to a report tabled by the municipality's acting manager, Robert Mkhatshwa, during a special council meeting on Monday, no explanation was given as to what had caused the council to spend more than R30million when the budget allocated to it by the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry was only R18million.

This was a budget for goods and services (chemicals and water tankers) and the report clearly states that the over-expenditure was actually "fruitless".

A few months ago the same council gave indemnity to chief financial officer Sheila Mabaso, who was implicated in the Section 106 report presented by MEC for corporative governance and traditional affairs Norman Mokoena after alleged financial irregularities against her.

This was after she had allegedly threatened to pull out as a key witness against the municipality's suspended manager, Sabelo Shabangu.

Shabangu was suspended on November 4 2008.

He was allegedly suspended after he had charged Mabaso with a number of irregularities - most of which were finance related.

Sowetan has learnt that the municipality held a special general meeting at the Kobwa Community Hall in Malelane on Monday.

The meeting was allegedly to try and address issues related to the overexpenditure and budget.

Mkhatshwa's report recommended that over R27million "that constituted unauthorised expenditure" should be condoned.

This was despite the fact that no explanation was given on what the municipality had used the money for.

The council also heard that more than R6million that was used for all the projects that were procured through quotations to empower small businesses should be condoned.

"It is recommended by the budget and treasury portfolio committee that the projects listed amounting to R6866,541,66 that did not comply with the supply chain management policy, and therefore constitute irregular expenditure, be condoned by council," the report says.

No explanation was given to council as to what caused Mabaso, in her capacity as a CFO, to fail to follow financial policies and prevent overexpenditure.

Mabaso had previously refused to comment and by late afternoon yesterday the municipality's spokesperson, Cyril Ripinga, had not commented at the time of going to press