DA to challenge alleged ANC ‘patronage’ in Bitou

08:48 (GMT+2) Sun, 11 Dec 2016

CAPE TOWN, December 11 (ANA) – The Democratic Alliance will ask Western Cape local government MEC Anton Bredell to review all senior appointments made at the Bitou municipality (Plettenberg Bay), the party said on Sunday.

“The DA is alarmed at the constructive dismissal of the municipal manager and chief financial officer at the Bitou municipality,” Western Cape MPL Donald Grant said.

“Their resignations follow their refusal to condone wasteful expenditure and irregular appointments. On 2 December 2016 Mr Thabo Ndlovu, formerly from the troubled Westonaria Municipality [in Gauteng], was swiftly appointed as the municipal manager at Bitou.”

Grant said he would write to the Bredell to request that his office review all senior appointments made at the municipality. Specifically to determine whether due process was followed and whether the chosen candidates were competent.

“Mrs Tanya Wildeman, the wife of the deputy mayor, was reappointed after her dismissal from Bitou municipality at a disciplinary hearing in 2015. She was fired for fraudulently awarding herself a salary increase and car allowance. Despite her dismissal, she will now be appointed as acting head of corporate services. Her appointment is illegal in terms of the Municipal Systems Act.

“Since the ANC-AUF [African National Congress – Active United Front] coalition took over the Bitou municipality [after the August 3 municipal elections] a number of appointments have also been made to positions that were not budgeted for and without council approval,” he said.

Spending on the rental of luxury vehicles had also increased while perfectly suitable vehicles were available in the municipal fleet. The DA in Bitou had served the mayor and deputy mayor with a notice of intent to recover money lost due to fruitless and wasteful expenditure.

Clause 32 of the Municipal Finance Management Act stipulated that money that had been wasted or spent irregularly could be recovered from the personal accounts of the executive mayor and deputy mayor.

“The DA will take every action to ensure transparency and accountability in the spending of public money. We will not tolerate ANC patronage at the expense of the people of Bitou,” Grant said.
– African News Agency (ANA)