THE Grahamstown SPCA is fighting for survival as the organisation is the latest causality of the Makana rates debacle.
The SPCA has accused Makana Municipality of intent to restrict the Grahamstown SPCA’s ability to operate as of Tuesday, July 24.
SPCA centre manager, Mark Thomas, has lashed back and gone public with social media, laying out the SPCA’s sad state of affairs.
He said if money were paid that was allocated to them in the municipality’s pound operator budget, they would not be staring closure in the face.
On July 20 the Grahamstown SPCA received a municipal account for R81 130.70. The account read that the SPCA is in arrears, and should pay the bill before Monday, July 24 to avoid supply being cut off.
“We are disgusted at their approach as we do not have the funds to pay this bill, and the main reason for this is that the municipality failed to pay for the pound operation for at least five years, which, under their municipality bylaws, they are required to do,” said Thomas. The pound operation was accounted for within the parks department budget, but this money was repeatedly re-allocated, he said.
“The SPCA wouldn’t be in the financial situation mess if the pound budget of R100 000 was paid to them.”
The SCPA, a welfare organisation, has had to pay rates and taxes despite receiving sporadic and often inconsistent municipal services. No rubbish gets collected, water supply is inconsistent and often shut off, said Thomas.
“They provide no water pressure, forcing us to run a pump which uses more electricity, further increasing the electricity consumption and our bill.”
“Furthermore there are no main drains, and sewage regularly floats past the SPCA entrance exacerbating the risk of disease.”
Thomas said they had met with Makana Municipality repeatedly over the situation and that Makana had promised to help, but never did.
According to Thomas the SPCA has had to use all of their money saved, incurring the massive debt, and forcing them to plan to shut the pound. “The monies owed to us have never been paid,” he said.
“As a result of their deliberate actions, they have financially bankrupted the SPCA, which is an animal welfare charity.”
The SPCA has sought legal representation and has, in the meantime, sent out a interdict against Makana, keeping the supply on.
“All of this is being handled by legal advisers working on our behalf,” said Thomas.
Makana Municipality spokesperson, Anele Mjakula, has acknowledged the receipt of various questions TotT has asked on the closure of the SPCA, and these have been forwarded to the municipal manager. There had been no response at the time of going to print.