During the public meeting held in Frankfort on Thursday evening 13 October, it came to light that Mafube Local Municipality (MPM), in their 2022/23 Final Budget, provides for paying out more than 10-million rand in salaries for the 5 members of its top management.
According to the budget which can be viewed on MPM's website, the following total remuneration packages are paid out during the current financial year as follows: • Municipal Manager (Mr. J.R. Ralebenya) R 3 454 208.00 • Chief Financial Officer (Mr. A. Mgcina) R 2 825 405.00 • Director, Planning and Infrastructure (Mrs. N. Radebe) R 1 412 704.00 • Director, Corporate Services (Mr. I. Ngozo) R 1 412 704.00 • Director, Community Services (Mrs. Z.E. Mofokeng) R 1 114 144.00 The total for 2022/23 financial year is therefore: R10 219 168.00 Of course these amounts were denied by Mr. Ralebenya, MPM's municipal manager, but he was clearly shocked by the revelation and stammered to try to explain. The meeting was not at all impressed with his effort, but fortunately for him, the mayor quickly rose up with an undertaking to investigate the matter. Mr. Mkaza, head of the provincial intervention team, did not comment. It is the responsibility of the province to implement a municipal financial recovery plan in terms of the Supreme Court order obtained by MBF. So it is astonishing that the budget of Mafube was not carefully checked by the intervention team, precisely to prevent these types of abuses. The municipal council approved the budget earlier this year, also without questioning it. Salaries and perks of municipal managers and managers who report to him/her are limited by regulations of the Department of Cooperative Government and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA). In the case of a category 2 municipality such as Mafube, the upper limit is set at R1 267 066.00 per year for a municipal manager with a relevant qualification, more than 10 years of experience, and with outstanding competence in his/her position. Mr. Ralebenya has been in the position at MPM for just over 1 year and his competence is questionable. He intends to pay himself almost 3 times more than he is entitled to. The limit for other senior officials is R1 040 327.00 per year which is also significantly exceeded in the budget. It is very clear that the officialdom do not realize the realities of a bankrupt municipality and cannot be trusted to be in charge of public funds. Still Mr. Ralebenya fails to make available the financial statements of Mafube as he is legally obliged to do. He has been reminded on several occasions. MPM's current series of public meetings are held with the objective of trying to convince residents, business owners and taxpayers that everything is now running smoothly at MPM, and that they can now confidently pay their service fees and property taxes to the municipality. It is very clear that self-enrichment and mismanagement, despite the mandatory provincial intervention, continues at MPM and that this can only be stopped by civil actions and legal action.
MBF call on the community to join us. Please visit MBF at 18A Church Street, Frankfort. You can also send an email to email@example.com or a WhatsApp to 079 145 4295. Visit our website at www.mafubebf.org