by Ina Cilliers MPL – DA Constituency Head: Merafong
The Democratic Alliance has laid charges against the ANC-led Merafong Municipality for illegally investing public funds with the now defunct VBS bank.
In September last year, the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) warned VBS against soliciting investment from municipalities. After this warning was issued, the total investment in VBS bank by municipalities shot up from R1 billion to R1.5 billion.
Merafong’s total investment with the bank stands at R50 million.
SARB has warned that these funds are likely to be irrecoverable.
The people’s money has now disappeared in an illegal investment; this has had a massive impact on the financial well-being of the municipality.
As a result, for the coming financial year, the ANC in Merafong have presented an unfunded budget, which means that they will try to provide services and programmes with money they do not have to spend.
Coupled to this, the slow turn-around time to attend to service delivery failures, and the non-compliance with the law have left Merafong residents in a difficult situation.
While the ANC in Merafong continues to operate beyond the remit of the law, residents are reeling from this untenable situation.
Gauteng Finance MEC, Barbara Creecy has indicated – after months of blame shifting and denial, that the provincial treasury will investigate the matter.
The DA has been warning for months that this lack of fiscal management would have a negative impact on the day-to-day running of the municipality and leave residents in the lurch.
MEC Creecy must expedite this investigation and ensure that those responsible are brought to book as well as recover as much of these funds as possible.
The DA will continue to pursue the case we have opened so that those who have broken the law are held to account.
The people of Merafong deserve a better life than the one they have been dealt by the ANC. Our imperative is to ensure that we can bring about a positive change in Merafong.