Cash-strapped Emfuleni Municipality provisions money for political positions

Note to Editors: Please find the attached soundbite by Cllr Tebogo Tlhokwe, the DA Caucus Leader in Emfuleni Local Municipality.

The ANC in Emfuleni Local Municipality has taken it upon themselves to appoint ten Executive Assistants to the Members of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) and nine researchers to the political parties represented in Council.

This decision comes at the detriment of providing service delivery and as the cash-strapped municipality struggles to pay service providers and creditors to keep the municipality functional.

The municipality has no money to pay for service delivery fundamentals like replacement of transformers, maintenance of infrastructure and yet they are willing to spend at least R15 million yearly on these positions.

The municipality is currently running on an unfunded budget with no sustainable cash flow.

The municipality is struggling to pay Eskom and Rand Water as the accumulated debt currently stands at R5 billion. There are several other creditors that the municipality owes and yet they are willing to add further financial constraints through unnecessary positions.

If these positions are needed then we do not need the Executive Directors as they should already serve as advisors to the MMCs. The municipality already has a bloated staff complement, and yet the ANC and its coalition partners want to add more staff.

The DA tried without success to advise them against this exercise as there are key positions such as Risk Manager and Internal Auditor that remain vacant. The municipality has been warned by both the Chief Audit Executive and the Auditor-General to fill those posts but to date, they have not been filled.

The DA rejects this endeavour of cadre deployment at the expense of the community of Emfuleni.

The R15 million that has been proposed should be redirected towards improving service delivery needs such as the maintenance of municipal vehicles, repairing potholes and taking care of the municipal infrastructure.