Limpopo district embroiled in fraudulent travel claims

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The Sekhukhune District Municipality in Limpopo is investigating alleged fraudulent travel claims by some of its officials, this comes after it was leaked that an administration clerk and another official have been claiming between R24 000 and R34 000.

The claims are said to have been lodged on a monthly basis and it is alleged that some of the claims were fraudulent.

The drive from Groblersdal to Bloempoort 25 kilometres, however, according to a travel claim by a Sekhukhune District Municipality clerk, the 25 km trip clocked up 120 kilometres. The employee in question allegedly lodged over R24 000 in travel claims in April 2023. This led to opposition parties in the municipality crying foul, calling it a scam by some municipal employees.

Leader of The Bolsheviks Party of South Africa Seun Mogotji says, “There is that scam in the municipality where people are paying themselves through the travel claims because in the municipality they are getting paid on the 25, now they need extra salary on the 15 now. It has become a scam it has been happening for quite some time.”

Opposition parties call these and other claims a regular occurrence. The Sekhukhune District Municipality says that it takes allegations of mismanagement seriously. Municipal spokesperson, Kgetjepe Maredi, has refused to be drawn into the legitimacy of the claims.

Maredi says, “As the municipality any allegation of financial mature we take it seriously we have since referred the allegations to the chairperson of the financial mismanagement board so currently we are not going to get into the details or the nitty-gritty of the allegations but suffice to say we are taking those allegations very seriously.”

Opposition parties in the district municipality however say that travel claims have become another tool to loot the municipal purse. Mogotji says that some of the claimants have no reason to leave the office.

“Other people that are on those claims are office-bound people and there is no way that they can be going out of the office but they had to claim and using a vehicle that he is not using to come to work and there is no evidence of work they allege to have done in whatever side someone said they went to validation like they gave stoplight to do work and I went to the camera of stoplight that day they did not use that side,” Mogotji says.

While the majority of the trips undertaken by the employee were for verification purposes, the district municipality only spent 22% of its allocated budget, resulting in no new projects for 2022/2023 financial year. However, several Sekhukhune District Municipality employees have been clocking up hundreds of kilometres on the road.