The ANC Joburg region is claiming that executive mayor Herman Mashaba “has brought his erstwhile NGO, the Field Band Foundation [FBF], to provide services to the municipality for more than R11 million”.
The party alleges Mashaba initiated funding for the FBF without any written proposal submitted by the FBF and that in all likelihood, the organisation got this generous funding because Mashaba was the chairperson there for six years.
“The FBF is a well-established NGO with support from the private sector, and boasts a budget of R22 million per annum, yet Mayor Mashaba has the audacity to initiate funding of more than R11 million from the ratepayers’ money to fund the FBF,” ANC Joburg region said in a statement.
According to the statement, Mashaba resigned as chairperson “in 2016 shortly before the local government elections”, and hardly six months into his tenure as mayor, he initiated a process for the funding of the FBF by the City.
The ANC believes Mashaba’s announcement in February 2017 of a”city-wide anti-drug abuse awareness campaign over a three-year period” to the tune of R3.5 million a year to FBF was done without a request for funding or a partnership between the City, and FBF only submitted a proposal to the City in June 2017.
It is also claimed the mayoral committee member (MMC) for health and social development, Dr Mpho Phalatse, wrote a letter to then MMC for finance Rabelani Dagada requesting three-year funding for FBF despite no proposal or request for funding from the FBF at the time.
“As a result of the written request from MMC Phalatse, the City budgeted an amount of R3.5 million per year over a three-year period for the funding of the youth programme to be rolled out by the FBF. The indicative budget for social funding within the health and social development department increased by R3.5 million in the 2017/2018 financial year,” the ANC claimed.
It further claimed that in March 2017, Phalatse convened a meeting with the FBF management “to inform them about the mayoral committee decision to fund the NGO”, and that at this point FBF “then undertook to submit a proposal to the City in line with the City’s offer for funding”.
The party believes that only in June 2017, FBF then submitted “a proposal for funding to the tune of R10.5 million”. It is reported that Mashaba then went on to approve the R11.1-million funding request on September 20, 2017, during a “special mayoral committee” even though FBF submitted ” a proposal for R10.5 million over a three-year period”.
“With 22 years of experience in submitting proposals for grant funding, the FBF knew exactly what the costs would be over a three-year period. However, the City was generous enough to increase the grant from the initial proposed R10.5 million to R11.1 million,” the statement claimed.
The Citizen has been reliably informed that this was the beginning of heated clashes between Dagada and Mashaba, which ultimately led to his sacking as his insistence of due process resulted in his exclusion from the “special mayoral committee” dealing with the matter. Dagada was fired earlier this year for conflict of interest.
When contacted for comment earlier this morning, Dagada told The Citizen he was no longer an MMC for the City, and therefore it would be inappropriate for him to offer a comment, and referred queries to Mashaba’s office.
In a statement issued by mayoral director of communications Luyanda Mfeka, Mashaba said he was “disappointed, but unsurprised, by the latest baseless accusations made by the ANC”.
The statement conceded that in February, Mashaba “suggested that social development look into the FBF”. The engagement resulted in “a proposal which was assessed and determined to be of value to the City”.
“It is worth noting that a number of municipalities and the National Department of Arts and Culture support the Field Band Foundation. My family [Mashaba’s] has donated historically to this organisation, continuing to do so today, and I [Mashaba] have chaired the NGO for many years,” Mfeka wrote.