ANC Councillors enjoy a luxury trip while Tswaing faces bankruptcy

Issued by Cllr Soret Viljoen – DA Caucus Leader, Tswaing Local Municipality
22 Feb 2024 in Press Statements

Note to Broadcasters: Please find the linked soundbites in English and Afrikaans by Cllr Soret Viljoen.

The DA in the Tswaing Local Municipality will not attend a luxury taxpayer funded jaunt to the value of hundreds of thousands of rands in Hartebeesfontein.

We find the decision by the ANC-led municipality to arrange a policy conference outside of the municipality to be a complete abuse of public resources.

It is beyond belief that the ANC could find money to wine and dine in luxury while Tswaing is in severe financial distress. The Tswaing municipal building and the Council chamber could easily accommodate a policy conference at a fraction of the cost.

We wrote to Tswaing Speaker, Sam Letlakane, that we consider this wasteful expenditure and that we would not attend. We have also written to the North West MEC of Finance, Motlalepula Ziphora Rosho, requesting her immediate intervention in Tswaing’s continued financial mismanagement and the deliberate wastage of funds.

Tswaing was placed under Section 139(5) administration in August 2021 with the Council dissolved two months before the 2021 local government elections by the Minister of Cooperative Government and Traditional Affairs, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma. This intervention had no positive impact since the ANC returned to government to continue the looting.

The municipality is currently receiving assistance from the North West Provincial Treasury in an attempt to improve the municipality’s financial position. Despite this intervention, the ANC government does not understand the seriousness of the situation and money is being spent on luxury breakaways while residents do not have water in their taps.

Tswaing owes Eskom R177 million. Overdue pension fund contributions amount to around R100 million. The Municipal Manager, Deon Mere, issued an official notice yesterday stating that the municipality cannot pay the salaries for February and that it will be paid on 7 March 2024. See notice here.

Service delivery in the municipality is collapsing due to a lack of funds. Streetlights in Delareyville, Ottosdal and Sannieshof have been broken for years and potholes cost residents thousands of rands for repairs to their vehicles. The electricity grid is old and dilapidated, and residents regularly suffer from long power outages.

The Henk Joubert Nature Reserve, which belongs to the municipality and houses a variety of wildlife such as zebras, black wildebeest and springbok, is not fenced at all, because the municipality has no funds.

In short, while the municipality collapses around every resident, ANC cadres want to go on holiday with taxpayer money. Thankfully, this is an election year and Tswaing residents will show their contempt for the ANC by voting DA on 29 May 2024, because a DA government will deliver services first and never waste money in this fashion.