Dundee Courier

Probe into Endumeni Municipality’s ‘doings’ ramps up

The Endumeni Residents' Association has said it will not rest until every cent spent by the municipality has been accounted for.

A senior advocate from the National Prosecuting Authority has been appointed to follow up on the charges laid against Endumeni Municipality by the Endumeni Residents Association (ERA).
This was revealed by ERA vice-chairperson Willie Steenberg at a community feedback meeting last Thursday.
Charges of fraud and theft were laid against the municipality in February, following a condemning Auditor-General’s report that painted a bleak picture of the institution’s finances, with a loss of R99 million and current liabilities exceeding current assets by R105.44 million.

“We have a case number and a colonel from the Directorate of Priority Crimes, the Hawks, has been tasked to investigate – who, in turn, has involved a senior state advocate.
“We hope to soon have feedback, but we are certain there is a prima facia case against the municipality.”
ERA chairperson FC Bester told the same meeting that the association was handing over documents to the SAPS after it was discovered that the municipality had paid around R3 million in December to a private Durban company that ‘assisted with the drawing up of the 2024/25 budget’.

“What we cannot understand is that we paid all this money, yet they pass an unfunded budget.
“The consultation process that all municipalities have to do before approving a budget only consisted of roadshows. Many of these meetings did not start on time and were poorly attended, which meant that residents and ratepayers were unable to give input.”
Bester added that ‘only a few years ago’, the municipality had investments in various institutions of around R42 million, all of which have been ‘wasted away’.
“As the Auditor-General indicated, Endumeni is bankrupt. Many households and businesses are not paying their service charges. The ERA appeals to defaulters to make arrangements by reporting to room 3 in the municipal building to pay off their debt for the good of the town.

“We do not want only to criticise; we also want everyone to work together to improve our town.”
Asked about the Eskom debt, Bester said he had received information that R3.2 million of the R156 million owed to the power utility had been paid last week.

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