The Democratic Alliance (DA) said in a statement on Friday that it is concerned that the West Rand District Municipality once again does not have the funds to pay salaries to its senior officials and councillors.
The municipality made headlines last year after its councillors spent 12 hours in council chambers overnight held there by employees who had reached their wits’ end after several months of non-payment of salaries.
The DA’s Ina Cilliers said the municipality’s failure to pay salaries not only poses a serious financial risk to the individuals concerned, but it is also part of an escalating financial crisis within the municipality that started back in 2012.
“The municipality has, over a sustained period, covered its yearly budget shortfall by withdrawing money from its investments, which are now depleted,” Cilliers said.
Cilliers further said the municipality had illegally invested R90 million with the now-defunct VBS bank, a matter which is subject to an on-going investigation by the Gauteng Provincial Treasury.
“It is concerning that the Gauteng Provincial Treasury has been fully informed of the spiralling debt crisis in the municipality for several years.
“The municipality has placed its financial situation on record and has utilised all the mechanisms available to it in terms of the Municipal Financial Management Act.
“Provincial Treasury only commissioned a financial recovery plan late in 2018. This plan is now open for public comment until the 7th of June, and affected residents are urged to use the opportunity to voice their concerns,” Cilliers said.
(Compiled by Makhosandile Zulu)