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Maluti-a-Phofung beyond saving, must be dissolved

The Maluti-a-Phofung Local Municipality (Harrismith, Kestell, Phuthaditjhaba) is one of the biggest failures in the Free State and serves as proof of the fact that the ANC is utterly unable to sustainably govern any municipality.

The municipal manager, Futhuli Mothamaha, increased his own salary as well as that of the chief financial officer, Jeremiah Baleni-Mazinyo, with R440 000 (to R1 596 747-00 per annum) and R563 000 (to R1 987 402-00 per annum) respectively after just one month of service.

Approximately 1 400 municipal workers' salaries were also increased with 28% during the Covid-19 period.

From 2017 and 2019, this Municipality issued no municipal accounts. The subsequent and enormous loss of revenue contributed greatly to the R5,3 billion debt owed to Eskom. A further R167 million is needed to increase the power supply capacity. The power problems have already caused foreign investors to withdraw projects amounting to R540 million.

On top of that, not a single water purification plant in the Municipality is functional and as a result, the Wilge and Vaal Rivers are being severely polluted.

Furthermore, there is basically no service delivery to residents and still the Municipality's accountable official thinks it is justified to approve such exorbitant salary increases.

The many problems in Maluti-a-Phofung are deeply rooted in maladministration, poor management, corruption and fraud and will not be resolved overnight. This municipal council must be dissolved seeing as the ANC-controlled council is not demonstrating any sense of political leadership.

In general, municipal demarcations must be reviewed to create smaller and more sustainable municipal units. That will help to address these kinds of problems.

Contact details: 072 997 8315

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