THE last Executive Committee (exco) meeting of the year took place at the council chambers on Tuesday, where a number of issues were discussed including two presentations that added almost two hours before the meeting began.
The report from the financial directorate showed that there was still over R1-million owed to the municipality by residents.
Ward 10 DA councillor Ray Schenk, who is due to take over the finance portfolio from mayor Phindile Faxi to add to his responsibility as corporate services portfolio councillor, said that debt recovery agency, Revco, was not recovering outstanding debt fast enough.
“Our expenditure is outstripping our income,” said Schenk. “According to the figures, Revco is recovering around three-quarters of a million rand per month, but this is not enough.”
Schenk said that people who had agreed to pay their debt to the municipality were reneging on their agreements.
Also in the financial report, it was mentioned that street lights in Nemato are still not operating.
“But this is because the copper cables have been stolen,” said Faxi. Municipal manager Rolly Dumezweni said the copper cables were being replaced by conductors with no inherent street value to replace traditional copper cable. Schenk also added that the community must take ownership of the infrastructure provided, and that this was a matter for the police, not the municipality.
Schenk also asked about augmenting the municipal “honey sucker” (sewage pump vehicles) with two or three new ones as those in operation are often in the workshop for maintenance.
A number of liquor licences applications and transfers were brought up in the meeting, but the licence for the new restaurant and craft bar at the small boat harbour, Tash’s, was specifically mentioned.
Town planning manager Ntomboxolo Ngxwashula erroneously stated that Talk of the Town had printed a story that the liquor licence had already been transferred whereas, what was written was that the liquor board did not require the approval of council to transfer a liquor licence.
Leasing municipal-owned property
There were also a number of applications for leases in municipal-owned properties.
Schenk suggested that the municipality needed to ensure that the businesses leasing municipal properties should be audited to ensure they were sustainable. Some rental leases are valued at as little as R50 per year.
“Perhaps, in some cases, another business could make better use of the facilities,” said Schenk.
After a report requesting the municipality’s help in establishing new soup kitchens, Schenk said that this could prove to be expensive.
“Rather, we should focus on supporting the existing soup kitchens as they have the facilities,” said Schenk.
Faxi agreed saying, “I think these are things [soup kitchens] that will improve the lives of our people.”
There are no formal contracts between the municipality and recipients of bursaries, and that might cause a problem in the future.
The exco agreed that getting recipients to pay back monies should they fail their courses might be a problem, and the exco agreed to fix this problem.
“I have an idea about the newsletter,” said Faxi, who promised to reveal this at the next full council meeting, due to be held at Cannon Rocks today (Thursday).
Too much paper?
Faxi met with representatives of the Ndlambe Ratepayers Forum (NRF) who suggested that too much paper was being used to print agendas, and that this should be reduced and only an aerial view provided as they currently contained too much detail.
“They [NRF] said that the details provided in agendas and minutes might be important to directors, but not to everyone else,” said Faxi. “I agree with them.”