ANC distorting the truth regarding VBS investments

by Ina Cilliers MPL and Adriana Randall MPL – DA Constituency Head: Merafong & DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Finance

The ANC-run West Rand District Municipality (WRDM) is trying to cover its tracks and absolve itself from any wrong-doing with regards to the investments it made with the now defunct VBS Bank.

The municipality, as well as the Merafong Local Municipality, invested millions of rands of public money with the bank which has become synonymous with grand scale looting.

The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) earlier this year placed the bank under curatorship as it was effectively bankrupt.

The WRDM has now tabled an item in council to assess a legal opinion regarding the money it invested.

This has gone against a Treasury recommendation which indicates that it would be investigating the matter and will conclude if invested money can be recouped.

The municipality has attempted to down-play wrongdoing as it has claimed that the investment was brought before Gauteng MEC for Finance, Barbara Creecy.

This is not the case.

The DA approached the MEC to investigate the matter when it was revealed that the bank had been placed under curatorship. The MEC dismissed the concerns of the DA by stating she did not need to scrutinize every investment made by municipalities in the province.

It was only after National Treasury indicated that it would be investigating the matter that MEC Creecy took action.

These municipalities have had to present unfunded budgets for the 2018/19 financial year due to financial mismanagement. Residents will now endure untold hardships as a result of ANC incompetence.

The DA will continue to pressurize the MEC to ensure that those who made these investments are brought to book and that the money invested will be recovered.

A DA provincial government would ensure that residents of local municipalities across Gauteng are serviced with the same level of professionalism as in the municipalities where we govern.

The ANC has failed the people of Gauteng and should not be given another chance.