Greater Giyani Municipality Manager, Maxwell Chauke says the municipality’s decision to invest with the embattled VBS Mutual Bank will have a long-term negative impact on service delivery. It invested more than R161 million with the bank.
The municipal manager has been at the helm since May this year. Prior to his appointment, the post had been vacant for more than five years.
Chauke was alerted to the numerous service delivery projects which were not going ahead because of funds not forthcoming from VBS.
“The impact in terms of the monies that went to VBS will have a long term effect in that if we plan to do some projects maybe in 2021/2022 we may want to find ways of covering that gap now but for interim and midterm we don’t have challenges.”
Following a forensic audit the municipality suspended its Chief Financial Officer. “The council gave me an approval to do a forensic investigation on all the issues we felt needed to be looked at. After that the report was tabled with all the recommendations hence there were suspensions, one for the CFO and another for the technical director.”
Chauke says the municipality has enough in its coffers to fund short term service delivery projects.
Parliament to consider VBS report
Parliament’s Standing Committee on Finance will only be able to consider the Reserve Bank’s report on VBS bank after the Medium Term Budget.
The report has fingered about 50 people and companies linked to losses of about R2 billion rand that led to the collapse of the bank.
Committee chairperson Yunis Carrim says the scandal justifies the new powers given to the Financial Sector to act against wrong doing in the interest of depositors. He also says if the committee agrees, they will call the Hawks to brief them about their investigation of the matter.
“Those who have done wrong must face the full might of the law. And if the committee agrees, we will without interfering in the internal investigations call on the Hawks to report on progress in this regard until we are convinced. Otherwise our view remains that every attempt needs to be made to rescue under new leadership. We also need to look at whether the Reserve Bank and Treasury could have acted sooner and reduce the extent of its failures.”
VhaVenda King willing to pay back VBS money
Earlier, VhaVenda King Toni Mphephu-Ramabulana says he is frustrated that his name has been dragged into the VBS Mutual Bank looting scandal.
The King has undertaken to pay back money that was reported to be taken illegally from VBS Bank. A report from the Reserve Bank revealed that Ramabulana received a gratuitous payment of more than R17-million.
Ramabulana’s spokesperson Makonde Mathivha says to a certain extent, the King is also a victim in the matter.
ANC calls for investigations
The ANC has echoed its president Cyril Ramaphosa’s statement that law enforcement agencies should accelerate their investigations into the looting of VBS Mutual Bank.
ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe says, “The ANC is calling for action. The ANC is on record as saying heads must roll. The role of the financial sector conduct authority is also to be able to make sure that the conduct of the financial institutions is in line with what is acceptable in society. So, it’s not free for all.”
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