KZN Department for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta), under the leadership of its MEC Sipho Hlomuka, is continuing with the fight against malfeasance in the sphere of local government in the province.
Hlomuka has welcomed the opening of a case in the Abaqulusi local municipality where an official is accused of siphoning off close to R4-million from the embattled municipality’s coffers.
It is alleged that in December 2019, when the municipality was making a payment of R3,918,716.89 to Eskom, an official changed the recipient’s banking details and when the bank discovered the discrepancy, the said official went further to instruct the bank to continue with the payment.
Upon discovery of this, the Administrator in the municipality moved with haste to secure an interim order for the preservation of the said funds. Through this exercise, R2,596,547.25 was recovered from the said official’s account.
A case has been opened by the municipality and the said official has been taken in for questioning. Hlomuka has welcomed the bold steps that have been taken by the Administrator to ensure that the municipality clamps down on corruption.
“We are very concerned by instances of corruption and as the department, we have a zero-tolerance policy for corruption within the sphere of local government because it compromises the fiscal standing of our municipalities and their ability to deliver services to our communities,” said Hlomuka.
Hlomuka has also issued a stern warning to officials within the province’s municipalities who are entrusted with the stewardship of municipal funds, saying that his department will not rest until those fingered in investigations are brought to book.
“We will never relent in our fight against corruption. Municipalities are not piggy banks for unscrupulous officials,” warned Hlomuka. The department will be keeping a keen eye on the police investigation into the matter at Abaqulusi.