The mayor of the embattled Mogalakwena municipality Andrina Matsemela managed to spend a whopping R67,000 on a three-day trip, while also allegedly getting the municipality to pay for her massive birthday party.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Limpopo is demanding Matsemela’s sacking, accusing her of spending R1.5 million of municipal funds for her birthday bash, as well as spending R67,000 on accommodation, food and drinks during a recent two-day Salga meeting in Cape Town.
According to the DA the beleaguered municipality incurred R1.1 billion of irregular and fruitless expenditure in the past three financial years.
The party further accused Matsemela of sleeping on the job after her municipality was singled out by Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu as one of the worst municipalities in the country.
DA Limpopo provincial chairperson and member of parliament Jacques Smalle said yesterday: “We have already written to Cooperative Governance Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to take the mayor to task.”
Smalle said in the most recent audit outcomes, the municipality had incurred R43 million in irregular expenditure, R117 million in unauthorised expenditure and R2.6 million in fruitless expenditure.
The DA said the conduct by the municipality and the mayor was casting fear and doubt on the citizens of Limpopo as no one, including the mayor, saw any wrong in abusing municipal funds, which should be used for improving the lives of the poor.
The accusations by the DA come two weeks after Finance Minister Tito Mboweni and Dlamini-Zuma pushed government to pass a new stringent measure policy to curb exorbitant spending by municipalities.
Dubbed the Municipal Cost Containment Regulation (MCCR), it includes a ban on municipal spending on alcohol, catering, use of credit cards and charging exorbitant amounts for travel during municipal trips.
The regulation was supposed to come to effect on July 1 this year.