Response from TCLM Municipal Manager

Michele du Plessis

Regarding the IDP Meeting held on October 18th and the Sabie Ratepayers Association’s Bulletin 05, Mrs Sphiwe Matsi, Acting Municipal Manager of Thaba Chweu Local Municipality was approached by GPS News for comment.

Question:    In August 2017 the Forensic Investigation Report Implementation Plan was released with recommendations as to the way forward for TCLM. In this report, the recommendations are either disciplinary proceedings or suspension of various TCLM officials.  As these recommendations were made approximately 14 months ago, what was the outcome of these disciplinary hearings? Is TCLM in the process of appointing other officials and managers?

Answer: “The Disciplinary Hearings have started and are still continuing and there are officials who were suspended. The Decision may only be taken once the processes are concluded and the verdicts are out,” Mrs Matsi said.

Question:   Referring to the IDP Meeting held on 18th October 2018: “The only official present (Mr K Mashego) is on the list of municipal officials who is (or should be) under investigation following the forensic audit report.  A second official (who was absent from the meeting), Mr S Manqele is also named in the report.” Remark from the Sabie Ratepayers Association Bulletin 5. According to an Official Memorandum, dated 18 September 2018, issued by Mrs Matsi, the acting municipal manager, officials are given strict instructions to attend the IDP meetings. According to the SRA Bulletin, the attendance was “very poor indeed” and the appointed officials (apart from Mr Mashego who attended for a short period only) did not attend. It appears that the instructions from the Municipal Manager were not complied with (no reasons given). Questions asked by the SRA could not be answered by the TCLM Officials present. Who can be contacted to provide the answers to the questions asked?

Answer: “All questions raised are responded to by Management of the Municipality, considering that they cut-across all departments. If a written response is required the Municipality will be able to comply with such a request from time to time,” Mrs Matsi said.

Question: “On Page 15 of the Financial Recovery Plan Guide issued by the Mpumalanga Provincial Treasury, provincial intervention can be discretionary or mandatory.  When asked whether Thaba Chweu Local Municipality (TCLM) was under discretionary or mandatory intervention, no-one at the meeting was able to provide an answer,” Captain Rees, Chairman of Sabie Ratepayers Association, said.  Is TCLM under discretionary or mandatory intervention?

Answer: Mrs Matsi responded to the above question and said that TCLM is under mandatory intervention.

Question: Referring to the Current IDP/Budget Project, Ward 7, and point 5.2 Current Projects: – Will contractors be appointed for the work?

Answer: “Contractors will be appointed for the projects,” Mrs Matsi stated.

“Unless the IDP Project process is suitably organised and managed and can be seen by the community to be credible, (i.e. that there is genuine commitment on the part of TCLM instead of only lip-service), the IDP will not enjoy the support of the community,” Captain Rees concluded.

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