Grant funding released but National Treasury extends compliance periodPublished: September 20, 2023
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STATEMENT BY NELSON MANDELA BAY MUNICIPALITY EXECUTIVE MAYOR GARY VAN NIEKERK REGARDING THE RELEASE OF GRANT FUNDING BY NATIONAL TREASURY.
We have been informed by the Minister of Finance, Honourable Enoch Godongwana, that the grant funding, owed to the municipality, will be released with immediate effect.
We are grateful that the impasse is now a thing of the past, but the release of the funding comes with conditions that must be adhered to otherwise other punitive measures may follow.
Further engagement with the governing coalition partners, the Government of Local Unity, will be prioritized regarding the latest communication from the Minister as it contains serious consequences for Council, if we do not fully comply. I trust that the opposition parties, who vehemently opposed the full implementation of the Minister’s initial demands, will see the light in the interest of the common good.
The Minister pertinently raised concerns that the City Manager, while conflicted, participates in discussions on the matter and even directly wrote to him with a legal opinion, facilitated through her office, as part of the communique.
This is very concerning as it goes against ethical norms that an implicated person, alleged to have committed serious crimes, is participating in decision-making to address the alleged transgression.
His criticism of the legislative arm of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, Council is especially fiery, stating that we failed in our responsibility to fulfil our executive obligations.
I concur with this sentiment, as it was previously raised in a judgement by Judge Goosen regarding the appointment of senior managers.
Honourable Godongwana graciously gives the municipality thirty days to provide additional information to show how his initial concerns were addressed.
The following documents must be provided, within this period.
· The signed Council resolution as agreed to during the meeting (8 August)
· Court judgements that set aside the findings of the SIU report as it relates to the case of the City Manager (Dr Noxolo Nqwazi); and,
· Council resolutions and the disciplinary board report related to the case of the City Manager.
We, as the executive and legislative authority of the municipality, will have to ask ourselves very difficult questions as good corporate governance practices have been sorely lacking for an extended period.
The onus now rests on the shoulders of the current leadership collective to change this despite personal interests and cheap political agendas.
A lack of action by previous administrations regarding the implementation of the findings of the Special Investigative Unit, is at the centre of the pressures placed on us.
It is our responsibility to take a stand for social justice in the interest of our residents and the welfare of our municipality, as a local government institution under development.
A Special Council Meeting has been called for Wednesday, 27 September, to discuss the communique from the Minister and the court case against the City Manager.
I thank you.
EndsIssued on behalf of the Office of the Executive Mayor by Media Management Officer Kupido Baron (082 780 2726 / 041 506 1500 / email@example.com / @kupidobaron).