Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Acting Executive Mayor, Councillor Thsonono Buyeye said today:
On behalf of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality and the leadership collective, I would like to make it clear that the recent story published to the effect that City had forfeited R800 million meant for service delivery is not true.
Although we can confirm that we have received correspondence from National Treasury in relation to this matter, the content as published in a number of different publications has been sensational, misleading and irresponsible.
The fact is that National Treasury has indicated to us that they would withhold the allocation if some administrative matters were not addressed. Ever since we received this communication, we have been engaging with National Treasury on the relevant matters.
While clarity has already been given to National Treasury about some of the areas about which it expressed concern, I have been working closely with the Acting City Manager, the Chief Financial Officer and the Chief Operating Officer to make sure that we deal with the remaining outstanding areas, flagging this task as a top priority.
I want to state categorically that the current administration will work tirelessly to make sure that NO MONEY allocated to us for service delivery is taken back due to incompetency or lack of efficient administrative systems on our side. We will continue to interact with National Treasury, National and Provincial COGTA to make sure that no allocations meant for Nelson Mandela Bay are lost.
We are currently finalizing our Adjustments Budget, which will be tabled before Council towards the end of February: this Budget confidently reflects the R800 million that was allegedly lost. I have also instructed the Acting City Manager to work with his team to prepare a turnaround plan, focusing on improving administration, implementation and spending and reporting. I expect this turnaround plan to be submitted to the next Mayoral Committee meeting, which will sit before the next Council meeting.
Before that Council sitting, we will meet the National Treasury to finalize our engagements and deal with any outstanding matters.
The current administration is committed to stabilize the administration of this City. We are very clear on this commitment, because we understand that administrative stability is core to quality service delivery.
The recent appointments of senior managers such as a Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer are testimony to that.
The appointment of the CFO will assist us in improving our financial systems, accounting and reporting. This will go a long way in making sure that we do not only root out corruption, but also put systems in place to detect it before it actually happens. Going forward, through his office, we will improve our relations with National Treasury, the Auditor-General and other government entities responsible for public finance management.
The appointment of a COO is a boost to improving governance in the institution. That key office is responsible for, among other things, performance management, risk management, integrated development planning, legal services and strategic planning. The appointment of a competent and experienced official to that position is another clear indication of our commitment.
I want to make a clarion call to our communities and stakeholders, especially the business sector: please work with us. We will be improving our communication with stakeholders, sectors and communities on the ground to make sure that we keep you informed of the steps we take to restore stability and improve service delivery to you.
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