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MEDIA RESPONSE: Response from the Emfuleni Local Municipality regarding the expenditure of the Executive Mayor

18 May 2017 - It is common-cause that expenditure associated with the Office of the Executive Mayor is expended within the domain of the Executive Mayor’s duties as a functionary within the executive office. Further hereto, expenditure associated with executive offices is not unique or limited to the Emfuleni Local Municipality and is normally expended under expenses pertaining to entertainment, stakeholders’ engagements, business meetings and investor engagements in the execution of his official functions.

The Office of the Executive Mayor is not only responsible for programs of the Executive Mayor but also for those of the Mayoral Committee and the Municipal Manager. It must also be noted that part of the figures in question are over a period of five years and a not a single year as it has been reported in the media.

This expenditure that has sensationalised for political gain further serves to ensure that the Executive Mayor conducts business of the local authority within a controlled environment based on the necessary protocol observed. The Mayor is observant of current challenges within the local authority and has therefore been driving cost cutting measures within the local authority since his deployment. Since the Executive Mayor’s deployment to ELM, the Institution has obtained unqualified audit opinions with less matters of emphasis from the Auditor General and it also worth noting of the three clean audits that the Sedibeng District Municipality attained during his term as the Executive Mayor.

Reflective of the size of the Grade 6 Local Authority and further noting an Operating Budget of R6,3b per annum; the Executive Mayor needs to be able to execute his mandate with proper consultation and interaction with the community and external stakeholders; irrespective whether governmental or the business community. Business of the Executive Mayor is not only limited to the confines of the local authority and many of the engagements are conducted within the national domain.
The expenditure confirmed includes traveling and subsistence and noting the expenditure is calculated over extended period of time it amounts to a standard aggregate exhausted by the Office of the Executive Mayor on an annual basis. It is anticipated that other cities also provide for expenditure of which ELM will probably account for a lower average expended. Expenditure of the above relate to only 0, 0002% of the authority’s annual budget. ELM further strives to improve internal control and accountability by limiting these expenditures and has no provision for credit card utilisation by senior politicians and senior managers as stated in the release.

The continuous campaign of allegations against the Executive Mayor is baseless and unsubstantiated and has commenced during the election campaign and persisted to date. Notwithstanding the seriousness of the suggested allegations; the suggestions of excessive expenditure are malicious.

This is nothing but desperate attempts which indicate confusion on the part of the Democratic Alliance. It has become clear that the DA will stop at nothing to tarnish the good name of the Executive Mayor of Emfuleni Local Municipality, Councillor Mahole Mofokeng.

“In my deployment to Emfuleni Local Municipality, one of my key deliverables was to curb financial leaks and improve financial viability.” said Mofokeng.

We have said it in the past that this is a sustained smear campaign emanating from the DA’s dismal performance in the 2016 Local Government Elections, which saw the dreams of DA Mayoral Candidate, Kingsol Chabalala fading away. The recent release of a series of media statements is a clear indication that he remains bitter as his party could not even to go into coalition government after the ANC won outright majority in Emfuleni.

Ironically, since his election as Executive Mayor of the Emfuleni Local Municipality; he has been relentless in advocating for accountable local governance and complimenting the same with active investigations in preventing and curbing corruption and maladministration. Further hereto, it is evident that in the absence of any substantial proof of any wrongdoing; the DA seeks to revert back to the original defamatory allegations that they have continuously raised, hence they will in the main recycle their propaganda and only change the angles.

It is unfortunate that DA keeps on reiterating on same issues, notwithstanding the continued dengenerating strategies by the opposition in particular, Mr Kingsol Chabalala. The Executive Mayor has to date introduced strict financial controls taking a leadership role in chairing committees such as Budget Monitoring and Control Committee, which he put in place to drive down expenditure and increase revenue in the municipality.

ISSUED BY: Lebo Mofokeng 
Mayoral Spokesperson 
079 510 7324 / 016 950 5488