The DA in Thaba Chweu calls on the MEC of CoGTA Mandla Msibi to institute an investigation into the municipality’s mismanaged Curio Stalls Project.
The project was funded by York Timber and other donors. The market stalls were built next to the municipal offices to encourage local economic participation.
As the custodians of local governance, the municipality entered into an agreement with the donors that the Local Economic Development Unit will properly manage all the stalls.
According to an investigation report in our possession, the identification of beneficiaries and allocation of these stalls was allegedly unfair as only municipal employees and their family members benefited from the program.
The report indicates that the unit manager in Graskop at the time was complicit in the irregular allocation of these stalls. The manager was responsible for the handing over of the stalls to the beneficiaries.
The DA has learnt that before these stalls were built, informal traders sold curio on tables. They were then told to vacate the area and make way for the construction of the stalls. It was widely publicized that they would be considered once the new stalls were complete.
However, the report paints a grim picture, as it states one of the beneficiaries of this project was a general worker in the municipality.
The code of conduct for municipal officials has a disclosure policy stating that, a staff member of the municipality who, or whose spouse, partner, business associate, close family member, acquired or stands to acquire any direct benefit from a contract concluded with the municipality, must disclose in writing full particulars of the benefit to council.
It is gravely concerning to note that the municipality failed to implement this program in a fair and transparent manner in line with policies of the Municipal Systems Act.
Unwarranted practices of the ANC government have impacted negatively on our local economy. Graskop is amongst the biggest tourist hubs in the province that should be benefiting the municipality and its residents.
People of this town have suffered for too long at the hands of the ANC. The DA will make sure that the provincial government urgently investigates this matter and holds those who are implicated in any corruption accountable.