City of Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba. Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency(ANA)
Johannesburg - THE ANC and Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba’s war of words continued on Friday after the party announced it would table a motion of no confidence later this month over its claims that the city is “broke”.

ANC Greater Johannesburg regional chairperson Geoff Makhubo announced that the party, which has the majority in council, says its finances have collapsed.

“You can see that the city is broke and it’s all because of Mashaba and the DA,” he said.

According to Makhubo, the City of Joburg has only R2 billion in the bank, which comprises R950 million owed to residents, R1.4bn taken from the sinking funds and R200m in unspent grants.

But Mashaba hit back and denied this, saying the city’s liquidity had improved and that preliminary figures showed the municipality had ended the 2018/19 financial year in June with a cash balance of about R4.4bn, which was almost double the 2017/18 figure.

He described the ANC’s motion as “a political ploy designed to deflect attention from the number of cases of fraud and corruption involving the ANC that are being exposed by the multi-party government”.

“I look forward to meeting the ANC on the floor of council on August 22 where the hypocrisy of their baseless allegations will be exposed and the nefarious motives of their motion made clear,” Mashaba said.

Makhubo said to show that finances were deteriorating, electricity utility City Power was operating on a R2.8bn overdraft, which stood at R1.3bn in 2017 but has now ballooned by R1.5bn this year.

He said the billing crisis resulted in a R2.5bn loss in revenue collection and that the city underspent its budget by R200 million, which the ANC said was likely to be returned to the National Treasury.

In the past financial year, the municipality had incurred R2.7bn in irregular expenditure due to non-compliance with laws and regulations and disregard of procurement processes, according to Makhubo.

He said the illegal awarding of the institutional review contract resulted in the city paying a R7m settlement to a company.

EFF regional chairperson Musa Novela, who is also a Joburg councillor, did not respond to questions on whether the party would support the motion of no confidence against Mashaba.

The EFF has over two dozen seats in the council.

IFP Gauteng provincial chairperson Bonginkosi Dlamini told Independent Media yesterday that the party had no stand on the matter and that the ANC had neither consulted nor approached it.

The IFP, which is the fourth-biggest party in council with five seats, is also part of the DA-led coalition governing Joburg.

A total of 136 votes out of the 270-member council is required to win the majority and the ANC can only assume power with the EFF’s support or its withdrawal from backing the DA.

Politics Bureau