Ilembe blows R1.3m on games

Despite Ilembe Municipality being nearly bankrupt, officials forked out almost half a million rand for four days accommodation during the South African Local Government Association games (SALGA) in Richards Bay last December.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Ilembe is outraged and are calling for an investigation after an amount of R479 000 was overspent when Ilembe officials made unplanned bookings for 240 Ilembe team athletes at the cost of R1.3 million.

“Accommodation at Aloedale Lodge was cancelled at the eleventh hour due to non-payment in time citing Ilembe’s account was frozen. The package was R829 908.

“Ilembe officials made alternate bookings with a number of other establishments at a cost of R1.3 million.

“The overspend was R479 000. This is fruitless and wasteful expenditure which could have been avoided through better planning and paid for in time,” said DA caucus leader Madhun Sing.

Sing said the lavish spending came at a time when the municipality is struggling to pay its accounts on time.

Also read: KDM to develop rural areas, reaffirms commitment to create jobs

The party has called on mayor Sduduzo Gumede to investigate the matter urgently.

“During this difficult period, the mayor with the support of opposition parties wants to bring Ilembe back to its former glory, which could take two to three years. A system left by the previous administration is in disarray. We call on the mayor to investigate this crisis and if there was interference by officials or councillors that led to the wasteful expenditure, they must be held accountable and consequence management must apply.”

Ilembe acting municipal manager Geoff Kumalo said the matter was referred to the finance portfolio committee.

“A report was tabled at EXCO and the matter was referred to the Finance Portfolio Committee to deal with the finer details. There shall, therefore, be no further comments from the municipality until all internal processes in dealing with the same matter are concluded.”

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Erica Abrahams

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