Eastern Cape municipality near total collapse but manager spends R90k on KFC

Eastern Cape municipality near total collapse but manager spends R90k on KFC

- The Enoch Mgijima municipality is made up of Komani (formerly Queenstown) and several smaller towns in the Eastern Cape

- The municipality is near total collapse, parts of the town have no power or water, refuse is piling up on the streets and dead animals have even been left to rot on the streets

- Despite the municipality having racked up around R85 million in debts, the municipal manager spent R90,000 on KFC and claimed the expense as catering

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Enoch Mgijima municipality in the Eastern Cape was created when Komani (formerly Queenstown) and several smaller town councils in the area were merged in 2016. Now barely two years after being created the new council is near total collapse. Despite this, the new municipal manager spent about R90,000 on KFC.

Carte Blanche reported that Chris Magwangqana purchased R90,000 worth of KFC and claimed it as a catering expense in January, this despite the municipality having racked up an estimated R85 million in debt.

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Magwangqana justified the expense by saying the council had spent a lot more on service delivery than it had on catering. This claim seems to be at odds with the claims of other councillors who said service delivery and infrastructure construction had ground to a halt.

Briefly.co.za gathered that Magwangqana was previously linked to a R631 million toilet building scandal in Amatole where 66,000 toilets were commissioned but were never built or build to such a poor standard that they were unusable and had to be torn down.

Citizen.co.za reported that the Hawks were still investigating the matter and Magwangqana has not been entirely cleared of possible criminal charges.

The Auditor-General (AG) has been unable to investigate the financial matters of the municipality because the council had failed to keep proper records since being formed.

It is believed that the municipality is owed tens of millions in non-collected revenue, some residents claimed that they had not received a municipal bill in over a year.

The municipality also failed to challenge or defend itself against a creditor who took it to court. The court ruled in the creditor’s favour which led to municipal equipment such as vehicles, trucks and construction equipment being sold to pay off debts.

Councillors also noted that the town’s R30 million taxi rank had never been completed and was not usable.

The municipality’s mayor, Nokuzola Tolashe, has also been embroiled in her fair share of scandals in recent times. Tolashe was found to be hiring a luxury SUV to the tune of R78,000 per month because her official mayoral vehicle was being repaired.

The repairs had at the time of the investigation been found to be in their sixth month with no concrete completion date.

Tolashe also spent R300,000 to ‘engage’ with the community and ‘communicate’ what the council’s plan was for the community and why the council was doing good work.

Despite the mountain of rubbish collecting in the streets, raw sewage spilling into the river, dead animals being left where they died, roads collapsing and a huge mountain of debt facing the municipality Tolashe said she believed the outlook for the community was bright.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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