By Blessing Mabunda
Giyani- R161million of Greater Giyani Municipality (GGM) R302m operating revenue invested by the municipality in VBS has left hundreds of GGM employees in a tongue- tied situation and led to the delays on a number of projects, including the completion of the civic centre building in Giyani CBD, sport centre at Mageva, Homu and Giyani section E.
At least up to 15 municipalities across the country could collapse because they are not likely to recover the billion of Rand investments at VBS Mutual Bank.
Their exposure to VBS was “too large compared to their operating revenue”, according to a Treasury document sent to the affected municipalities last year.
The SA Reserve Bank (Sarb) placed VBS under administration in March, following a liquidity crisis. VBS’s main source of cash was illegal short-term municipal deposits which it used to fund long-term loans to clients.
Another Treasury executive said this money was part of municipalities’ annual budgets and not extra money that the councils could function without.
An executive member of the South African Local Government Association (SALGA), said it was “almost a foregone conclusion that some of these municipalities will crash.”
“We are losing sleep over the issue. The money was strictly for operational issues, not reckless investments,” said the official.
According to the National Treasury executive, it is only a matter of time before some of the municipalities are not able to pay salaries.
According to our source within GGM, claimed that the municipality in 2019 might fail to pay salaries, and it’s causing sleepless nights for employees and embarrassing at the same time.
“The municipality is bankrupt and It’s sad that the municipal manager isn’t running the municipality, but the forces against change who are members of the ruling party are the ones who call the shots on the day to day running this municipality.
“People who are without matric are the ones making decisions in this municipality and it is the reason why so much millions went down the drain.
“The same people who are in control of the municipality were those who backed Nkosazana-Dlamini Zuma’s camp prior to Nasrec”.
“It’s funny and embarrassing that they are calling for unity when these people should have been expelled in the movement and open fraud and money laundering charges against them”, concluded our source.
Cllr Sasavona Mathebula has been fired as Greater Giyani Municipality mayor on Monday over VBS scandal.