Msunduzi municipality spent R23.5m on Covid-19 measures, R10m on overtime pay
Durban – A REPORT has detailed how the Msunduzi municipality spent R3 million of council funds to renovate shelters to accommodate homeless people at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Covid-19-related expenditure was not limited to personal protective equipment but extended to a variety of items including overtime due to the shortage of employees, homeless shelters, tools of trade and fumigation of public areas, the report said.
Tabled by administrator Scelo Duma, the report found R3m was spent on renovations and fixing electrical infrastructure on buildings used to accommodate the homeless people.
The City had set up shelters in buildings, some of which were loaned out to them by other government organisations, to accommodate about 500 homeless who had to be removed from the city’s streets in line with lockdown level 5 regulations.
One shelter accommodated women and the other men.
More than half of the homeless people abandoned the shelters halfway through the lockdown to return to the streets. Others remained and were assisted with rehabilitation, job opportunities and there was talk of providing them with educational opportunities.
It was not immediately clear whether any individuals were still being housed in the shelters. The City’s entire Covid-19 spend was R23.5m.
“R1.7m was spent on the refurbishment of old Transnet offices, AF Wood Hall, and old municipal offices used to accommodate the homeless people and another R1.3m on electrical repairs to buildings housing the homeless,” the report said.
Overtime pay was by far the biggest expenditure at R10m, while the fumigation of taxi ranks cost about R4m
ANC councillor Jabu Ngubo said it was concerning that so much money was spent on renovations.
ACDP councillor Rienus Niemand said while the buildings were in a poor state and needed to be “touched up”, the R3m spend was too much.
DA councillor Sibongiseni Majola said they were stunned that R10m was spent on overtime.