In the department of Local Government's review of the two years since the local elections in the legislature, HOD Graham Paulse spoke about Hawks' investigations into municipalities in the W. Cape; challenges faced by the dept.; water drought, etc. More in Sat @WeekendArgus @IOL pic.twitter.com/znMWxa3l0M— Soyiso Maliti (@soyiso_maliti) October 19, 2018
Appearing before the standing committee meeting on Thursday, head of department Graham Paulse said that the Hawks were conducting several investigations, seven of which were in the troubled Kannaland municipality, in the province.
Paulse met investigators last week and yesterday’s meeting with the Hawks was cancelled at the last minute. Provincial Hawks spokesperson Captain Philani Nkwalase said he couldn’t confirm or deny that they would be meeting the department.
Paulse has also engaged the Special Investigating Unit, but he did not go into detail on this.
However, he told the legislature, the Hawks were still carrying out investigations in Beaufort West and George.
Captain Nkwalase also confirmed the George investigation.
Earlier, Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning MEC Anton Bredell said the department had assessed the compliance of municipalities.
According to the department’s report it had underspent by R15.6 million in the years under review - the years since the local elections.
ANC MPL Richard Dyantyi said he was dismayed that the department receives R1.2 billion and underspent while the province experienced a severe drought.
Breaking down the underspend, Paulse said they had budgeted for fires, but there had been few fires in the previous year, they had not been able could not find a suitable candidate for the vacancy of director for a year and another director had stepped down.
The committee heard that ward committees have a high number of vacancies. A department official added that ward committees were still functional.