South African Municipal Worker’s Union, Samwu, at the cash scrapped Amathole District Municipality is questioning the timing of the scrapping of irrecoverable debt of over R1 billion. The union believes this move is an attempt to buy the public’s trust as the council approved the re-appointment of the under-fire Municipal Manager, Thandekile Mnyimba, for a second term.
The union is unhappy with his re-appointment citing poor performance and mismanagement of municipal funds.
Samwu says it is not happy with the state of affairs in the Amathole District Municipality as relations between workers and the Municipal Manager Thandekile have paralysed.
The union’s shop steward in the municipality, Lorna Lubhedu, says the municipality has no cash reserves.
“We have been having disclaimers since he came to the municipality with that question of how possible is that person going to make a change? He has been on board and this institution is been getting disclaimers. What good is he going to produce this time around if we are giving him a second term? It simply means we are applauding him for destroying the municipality.”
Best interest of Amathole District Municipality
The Municipality’s Chief Financial Officer, Lucky Mosala, has defended the decision of scrapping the debt saying that it’s in the best interest of the Municipality.
“Of the R1.4 billion, you have deceased customers there. Of the R1.4 Billion you have got indigent customers, businesses that have since liquidated mostly due to COVID-19. Inside the billion you also have accounts that have since been prescribed in terms of the National Credit Act and that gives confidence to the people who will be receiving the accounts.”
The spokesperson for the Department of Co-operative Governance in the province, Mamnkeli Ngam, says they are also keeping a close eye on the Municipality’s finances.
“On a monthly basis, we are getting feedback reports as to the progress in terms of the financial recovery plan of the Municipality. It is our intention that Amathole becomes financially viable and becomes stable in terms of its core functions.”
Mnyimba is expected to take up office next month after his appointment has been approved by the MEC for Co-operative governance.