Uproar as municipality pays R2,000 for can of oil
Product is believed to cost between R250 and R399 at shops.
A five-litre can of hydraulic oil which cost the Fetakgomo-Tubatse local municipality in Limpopo R2,000 has raised concerns between the local Bolsheviks political party and the ANC.
The oil is believed to cost between R250 and R399 in local shops.
On 8 September, 2019, the municipality acquired a service provider for the supply of hydraulic oil for one of its graders. The purchase order was dated 8 December, 2019. The grader was allegedly stuck on the road, far from the municipal buildings.
“In light of this, we had to make sure we buy this special oil so that our machines could continue servicing our roads,” said municipal spokesperson Kubane Tolo.
Tolo said the reason the money was not paid in 2019 was because municipal accounts for operational budget were closed. At the time, the municipality had lost R230 million, which was illegally invested in the VBS Mutual Bank.
The council struggled to pay service providers and staff salaries because a huge chunk of the council money was lost through this illicit investment.
Now, the municipality has to wait until it is out of the woods to settle outstanding debts and the hydraulic oil happened to be one of many.
“The previous council had to make means for service delivery to continue at the time our accounts were closed,” Tolo said. “On 30 June, we had a special council sitting where the new council agreed to pay all outstanding debts.”
Asked if it were true the service provider charged the council R2,000 for five litres of oil, Tolo defended the decision.
“The service provider had to use his vehicle, travel to the dealer to buy the oil, drive to the site where the grader was stuck, plus his commission.”
The Bolsheviks political party accused the ANC-led municipality of not telling the truth.
“Something is fishy here. This is the same municipality that sold a piece of land to a developer for R4 million and later bought back the same land for R108 million,” said spokesperson Seun Mokgotji.
“I want to assure the public that we know the difference between fish oil and hydraulic oil. Although we know hydraulic oil is a bit expensive, R2,000 is too much. The ANC has a lot of explaining to do here. All we are saying is that this is the taxpayers’ money.”