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Mafube Budget – same old, same old…

The upcoming Budget Meeting of 24th May, was advertised in the Frankfort Herald of 10 May – Mafube Business Forum (MBF) took note.

After a favourable judgement was obtained on 28th April 2022, the hope existed that things would finally change for the better at Mafube Local Municipality (MLM). The mandatory provincial intervention and the team of “financial and administrative experts”, together with a solid Municipal Financial Recovery Plan (MFRP) would make the urgently-needed difference but sadly, no. It seems that now, more than before, politics is rearing its ugly head and the Mafube community have to bear the brunt. Year after year we are faced with the same old, same old, and dare we say even worse!

Where is the “Administrator”?

When appointed as Provincial Executive Representative, more commonly known as “Administrator”, Mr. Mkaza personally made a string of commitments in line with his officially gazetted “Terms of Reference”. Part of his task, to oversee the section 139 intervention, is to ensure compliance with local government legislation, which amongst other is to ensure a credible funded budget. However, he has been missing in action for about year, and did not engage with stakeholders. MBF understand that Mr. Mkaza has health issues and from the evidence of Adv. Lepheana at the SAHRC inquiry, gets little support from the provincial authorities. Should this be true, it is highly irregular, and in contradiction to what the High Court judgement ordered: “The Provincial Executive to take all appropriate steps to ensure that the municipality ‘meets its obligations to provide basic services or to meet its financial commitments’”.

Public Participation?

For many year MLM had made a mockery of public participation, and so they still do. The public were invited in printed and social media to a string of public meetings during April, none were attended by themselves… Notices said budget-related documents were available for a limited period at all municipal offices and public libraries. MBF could not find it at the said places in any of the four towns of Mafube. Municipal officials could not provide the documents or assist in obtaining same, whilst correspondence is still being ignored. The Acting Municipal Manager still ignores his responsibilities in this regard. His conduct is contrary to the determinations of Chapter 4 of the Municipal Finance Management Act, which is quite specific about the obligations of a municipality, with regards to consulting with, and informing the community as it relates to the annual municipal budget.

Tight timeline, yet no documents available

Considering the non-availability of the above-mentioned documents and the limited time available, the rights of the community to be informed and participate in the decision-making process are trampled on.

MBF invite residents, business owners and ratepayers to visit our offices at 18A Kerk Street, Frankfort on Mondays to Thursdays from 08h30 to 16h00 and Fridays 08h30 to 12h00. Call or send a WhatsApp message to Marina at 079 145 4295. Visit our website and follow us on Facebook.

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