Show us the money, demand residents of councillor
How was R700,000 spent?
Residents of at least two wards in Buffalo City Metro are up in arms, accusing their ward councillors of not accounting for how they had spent R700,000 meant for development in their wards.
Orange Grove, Sunnyridge, Santa and Willow Park residents are unhappy with how the money was spent during the 2018-2019 financial year.
Ward 46 residents have roped in a lawyer in their quest to get councillor Nceba Kilimani to provide documentary proof of the spend.
The ward allocation, increased to R1m in the current financial year, has pitted residents against elected representatives who they claim have failed to account for the expenditure.
The money is meant to go towards identified needs in the areas, but residents say councillors spent it on items never discussed or agreed to by residents and, when asked for receipts, failed to produce them.
BCM is on record saying councillors were not responsible for keeping receipts as they simply submit requests of what the money should be spent on to BCM’s supply chain management directorate, which procures the required goods.
African Federal Convention deputy president Themba Wele said ward 46 residents had brought in Sipho Klaas Attorneys to try and compel Kilimani to furnish them with receipts.
Wele said they went this route after their letters were ignored by BCM speaker Alfred Mtsi.
Mtsi said he only received the letter from their lawyers on Monday and was still waiting for a response from Kilimani after Wele called him on Friday.
They had followed up on allegations from wards 41, 25 and 46 earlier in 2019, Miti said.
“In most cases, for example in ward 46, they complain that there was no consultation.
“There is conflict around things they discussed and agreed, and the councillor didn’t implement.
“That’s the impression I got."
Kilimani said he would meet with residents “some time in the fourth quarter”.
“In the last meeting residents asked for invoices and we haven’t met since.”
The meeting was in August.
“I’m still waiting for the invoices [from the municipality] and we are yet to sit for us to be able to present our report,” he said.
Wele was not convinced.
“He’s wasting our time. We are only interested in a detailed report. The municipality gave us that money. Slips are what you use to account to us. Now he should bring them to us.
“We refuse to let them spend that R1m before he accounts for how he spent the first allocation,” he said.
Ward 17 residents are also demanding councillor Phumla Yenana-Nonjiwu show them the money trail.
In September they barricaded the main road in Mdantsane and demanded accountability.
Mdantsane resident Melisizwe Mancapa said they last met Yenana-Nonjiwu in September.
“She bought a music sound system for R16,000, chairs for more than R100,000 and groceries for the elderly for R210,000.
“We called a meeting, asking about the R210,000. She came and gave us a report.
“As residents we didn’t ask her to buy those things.”
Yenana-Nonjiwu could not be reached for comment.