South Africa 22.8.2018 10:30 am

Giyani municipality ‘unlawful’ VBS investment investigated

A closed VBS Mutual Bank branch, 9 July 2018. Picture: Facebook

A closed VBS Mutual Bank branch, 9 July 2018. Picture: Facebook

Giyani Municipality is one of ten municipalities in Limpopo to be investigated for allegedly unlawfully investing over R150 million of tax payers’ money into the Venda Building Society (VBS) Mutual Bank.

The Limpopo Provincial Treasury has appointed a forensic investigator to determine any irregularities on the investments of Limpopo municipalities into the VBS Mutual Bank, Letaba Herald reports.

Greater Giyani Municipality has invested R158 million of its R302 million operational budget.

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The appointment of the forensic investigator follows the Limpopo Executive Council directive that the Provincial Treasury must immediately commence with a forensic audit in order to determine whether the 10 municipalities, namely Greater Giyani, Polokwane, Makhuduthamaga, Elias Motsoaledi, Makhado, Ephraim Mogale, Collins Chabane, Vhembe District, LepelleNkumpi and Fetakgomo Tubatse flouted any legal provisions when they invested funds with VBS.

“The Executive Council will only act once the investigation has been completed. In its meeting, EXCO has indicated that in an instance where the laws and regulations be found to have been transgressed, actions need to be taken against the offending officials. The affected officials will have to account,” said the provincial government spokesperson, Phuti Seloba.

Greater Giyani Municipality spokesperson Steven Mavunda confirmed that the municipality invested R158 million with VBS, but said it is incorrect that the money was taken from an operational budget.

“This is the amount we always had in the municipal account before we include the annual budget. In essence, our annual budget remains untouched in as far as VBS investment is concerned. Hence we are still able to operate normally under the circumstances. We will continue to pay salaries for all employees without using overdraft,” said Mavunda.

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