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By Peter Mothiba

LASCA President Tshepo Mahlangu
LASCA President Tshepo Mahlangu

Political parties and various community-based organisations in Tshwane are angry over the municipality’s failure to spend grants allocated to it by National Treasury for community projects.

This anger has been sparked by a letter from the Treasury which indicated the Treasury’s intention to stop the transfer of over R2,6 billion as the city would not spend the money for community projects as envisaged.

According to the letter, these funds would be stopped in terms of Section 18 of the Division of Revenue Amendment Act (DoRA), which partly reads as follows:

“The National Treasury may in its discretion or on request of a transferring officer or receiving officer stop the transfer of a schedule 4B or 5B allocation, or a portion thereof to a municipality if the National Treasury anticipated that a municipality shall underspend on the allocation or on any programme that is funded by the allocated grant.”

The letter continues as follows: “National Treasury hereby informs you of the intention to stop an amount of R14.4 million from your 2023/2024 Programme and Project Preparation Support Grant (PPPSG), R391,4 million from your Urban Settlement Development Grant (USDG), R85 million from your Public transport Network Grant (PTNG), R102,8 million from Informal Settlements Upgrading Partnership Grant (ISUPG) and R36 million from the neighborhood Development Partnership Grant (NDPG).

“If you look at Tshwane with a population of about 3 million people, 2 million of them live in places that are unacceptable.

It is highly disappointing that the municipality of Tshwane will have to forfeit money meant for community development back to the Treasury.

There’s a lot of infrastructure development projects that still need to take place in the city yet the money might be taken back to Treasury.

This is an indication of an inability to govern by the DA-led administration.

And this distasteful state of affairs lies squarely on the shoulders of the incompetent current mayor and his mayoral committee,” said PAC Tshwane leader Sbusiso Xaba.

“:Rise Mzansi is deeply concerned by the ongoing and recurring service delivery problems in the City of Tshwane including the municipality’s inability to spend funds on community programmes.

The coalition government made up of the DA, ActionSA, FF plus, IFP and ACDP has shown little concern for the residents of the municipality,” reads a statement released to Tshwane Talks by Rise Mzansi Gauteng Premier candidate Vuyiswa Ramokgopa.

Meanwhile, Laudium Atgeridgeville Saulsville Civic Associations (LASCA) President Tshepo Mahlangu told Tshwane Talks that the R2,6 billion at stake here was supposed to be spent on townships, service delivery and other related issues.

Mayor Cilliers Brink has been caught red- handed. He and his mayoral committee are hiding and wasting the municipality’s money.

The best next thing that must happen is that Cilliers Brink must vacate his position before he collapses the municipality.

Alternatively, the City of Tshwane must be put under administration,” said Mahlangu.

“The reality of township residents in the Tshwane Municipality under the DA administration is that of a totally dysfunctional municipality,characterised by poor governance and lack of service delivery. Regretfully, the same cannot be said about DA’s constituencies in the East of Tshwane, which are never subjected to inhuman standards of living.

The possible forfeiture of these financial resources suggests that Tshwane will face a significant shortfall in urban development funding.

This will affect transportation subsidies and the development of 200 informal settlements for the purpose of making the lives of those living there better,” said EFF chairperson in Tshwane Obakeng Ramabodu.

The ANC and Premier Panyaza Lesufi released a media statement on Wednesday wherein it called for the resignation of members of the coalition government in the City of Tshwane including mayor Cilliers Brink, the DA, ActionSA and FF Plus.

“:National Treasury has issued a notice to the City of Tshwane indicating intention to cancel transfer of grants allocated to the municipality amounting to more than R2,6 billion.

As if they were not enough, the DA, ActionSA/ FF Plus coalition has failed to produce audited financial statements for more than 7 months.

This has promoted the Johannesburg Stock Exchange to suspend the City of Tshwane.

This means the municipality will be limited from accessing the bond market, acquiring loans and conducting investments,” read the statement.

In response to the above- mentioned accusations against the DA coalition government, DA spokesperson in Tshwane Kwena Moloto told Tshwane Talks that the said grants have not been withdrawn by Treasury as yet, and that the fact of the matter is that the Treasury has only issued an intention to stop a portion of the grants.

He said the City of Tshwane still has an opportunity to respond to the Treasury’s intentions and present plans that have been adopted by City of Tshwane Municipal Council to ensure that the allocated grants are utilised.

“The DA rejects the statement released by the ANC and Premier Panyaza Lesufi as a blatant lie. The campaigning season is upon us and the ANC is desperate for votes,” said Moloto.

“The Treasury is running out of money due to high salaries in various government departments and lack of economic growth in the country, that is why it is choosing to defund existing commitments such as the City of Tshwane in order to keep the ship afloat,” he said.

City of Tshwane spokesperson Selby Bokaba sent the following response to Tshwane Talks: ” The City of Tshwane is in the process of submitting a detailed motivation to the national Treasury with a view to presenting an acceleration plan on how the funds will be spent.

We are hopeful and optimistic that upon presenting the acceleration plan, they (Treasury) will review their intention to withdraw our grant.”


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