Still, all is not well in paradise

Eden’s political scuffles and administrative discord continues to embrown our lives!

Decision makers turn to O!O first for what’s really happening in Eden
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EDEN: It’s raining questions – About the Mayor; about the Speaker; about the MM; about the DA / Cope “aliance”; about the former DA constituency head… And the DA is as silent as the ANC is elsewhere. O!O has the stories – after many weeks of probing – and O!O will tell you what the DA does not want you to hear. Here’s the first installment…

The former (acting) Eden Municipal Manager, Morné Hoogbaard, now MM of Kannaland, transferred a Tourism manager, Fatima Hoosain-Whatney, to Oudtshoorn to manage the local municipal resorts, some time before the May 2011 local government elections.

For this relocation from George to Oudtshoorn Whatney received R60’000 as prescribed by ‘policy’.

Only Whatney never relocated.

She is currently enduring the hostile working and inclement weather conditions, and inimical environs of the City of Durban where she is breaking her back for Eden at the annual Tourism Indaba, squatting, no doubt, under a boardwalk on some bleak beach.

Not only has Whatney not repaid the R60’000 relocation award she never used to relocate, she is entitled – by ‘policy’ and ‘precedent’ – to yet another R60’000 for being transferred back to Eden, from Oudtshoorn.

Note, dear reader, that Whatney is entitled, although she has not in fact applied for the grant, to claim R60’000 to move back to George from Oudtshoorn where she never relocated to in the first place.

Policy. Procedure. Precedent. Preposterous. Pathetic.

To its credit, and in a move that is expected to alter weather patterns for decades to come, the Eden Mayco decided, some time ago already, that the R60’000 be recovered from Whatney.

It hasn’t.

Why not?

A Mayco member tells O!O that the matter is in the hands of the administration.

But, so claims the MM’s office, and probably rightly so, precedent, o, and policy, demands Whatney retains the R60’000… and is entitled to another R60,000 for moving away from a place she never moved to in the first place.

And we wonder about the state of local government.

With municipal management restrained by policies and procedures patently formulated to harm ratepayers; and with functionaries abusing such bad policies in cold blood; and with politicians turning a blind eye in refusing to address harmful practices, local governments can hardly be expected to deliver what politicians promise every few years in order to lure the great unwashed into their dens of iniquity.

What will Eden do to recover the R60’000 – and other recent such allowances! – and ensure that such outrageous manipulation is never repeated!?

May we hear from you, Mayor Wessie van der Westhuizen; MM Godfrey Louw; MMC Johann Koegelenberg; Chair of the Audit Committee Jolyon Stoffels; Minister Anton Bredell?

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DREWAN BAIRD COMMUNICATIONSensaytional – 076 349 6316
Making sure they see it your way
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8 thoughts on “Still, all is not well in paradise

  1. Louw is ‘n DA kader en Theuns sal hom beskerm dit weet julle mos man! Waars die vergoeding wat hy ontvang het vir die “onregmatige skorsing” ? Ja hy het dit geeis alhoewel die Kommissaris bevind het dat sy skorsing destyds regmatig was. Hierdie mannetjie kom wag met moord!

  2. Louw was al voorheen skuldig bevind vir vrugtelose uitgawes van R 360 000 en hy het tot vandag toe nie ‘n sent terugbetaal nie. Die voorsitter in sy dissiplinere verhoor het gese dat Louw ontslaan moet word omdat hy die oortreding weer sal begaan en toe doen hy dit wragtig! Maar ou Theunsie sal die DA kader herontplooi verneem ek. Nou ja toe!

  3. Weet jy OO dat ou Kelvin Vollenhoven was deur Godfrey Louw aangeklae omdat hy die relocation cost van R 60 000 aan Whatney betaal het. Ja jong vra maar vir Louw waars Vollenhoven se klagstaat.

  4. I personally find all the ‘Anton this and Anton that’ a bit like shouting up ones sleeve. The number of times I personally have tried to call, sms and get hold of the guy is, well not worth counting anymore. He got burnt once and now he is seems to be scared to death to do anything. (besides traveling overseas, that is).

    Ultimately the MM is the person responsible in maters municipal and the speaker well, thats quite another story. Just look at the municipal acts and see the duties and responsibilities of the speaker. I will bet my last dollar that the speaker doesnt know a fraction of what they are suppose to do (except how to close meetings to the public) which makes for a deliciously soft target in the democratic struggle for democracy.

  5. @Pletty, ah ha, finally the penny is beginning to drop around here.

    Please contact Drewan. We have a plan that will stop this stuff from happening. The more people we can get on board, the more resources we can mobilize to get the municipality to function properly. Its not about any money or even time at thjs stage. Its about like minded people.

    Just a word. Its not about the law at this stage (which obviously has its place), Its about using the three municipal acts to compel the main actors to perform their tasks.

    There is a beautiful book called The Municipal Handbook, written by (i can get it, but its in the lounge right now) which brings one point across very well. We have an Executive Mayor and the definition of executive is ‘the power to act’. Well perhaps when they went for the executive option they over reached because with executive power comes EXECUTIVE OBLIGATION and that is something anyone doesn’t want to fall fowl of.

    So there is a lot more to any of this that than what meets the eye, and we can defeat these rascals quite easily if we stop trying to put out fires and deal with the causes.

    Q: How do you defeat democracy?
    A: With democracy

    Just drop Drewan an email subject TAMISA. Thanks T

  6. O!O, could you please find out and publish whether Ms. Whatney claimed for and was paid a traveling allowance to travel between George and Oudtshoorn daily (since she never relocated)? I’m sure such a thing would never happen, or be allowed to happen in the fair Eden as she was paid the R 60k to relocate. It is certainly impossible to receive both a relocation allowance AND a traveling allowance…

  7. Ons wag Anton ! (Het hy nie al bedank nie?)
    Intussen moet n klag solank bele word by die Openbare Beskermer en SOE!
    Ek hoop elke koerant publiseer hierdie storie
    Sterkte OO, haal die ouens almal een vir een uit hul donker hole todat almal uitgerook is.
    Eden en ODN verdien en verwag skoon administrasie !
    Kan Anton dit regkry ?
    Besluit self as mens na sy Dept se patetiese rekord kyk, daarom die aandring op sy bedanking !!

  8. Hmmmm…. Lets think about this for a bit disregarding policy and precedent but keeping in mind legality.

    A municipality can make expenditure, but not just any expenditure any way it chooses. It must have regard for what the MFMA says.

    Spending R60k to achieve nothing and then another R60k to achieve nothing again, may be the Eden district’s policy and there may even be precedent examples of them having done that. And they say we have done it again so we must to it again. OK.

    What does the MFMA say about expenditure of this kind?

    “fruitless and wasteful expenditure means expenditure that was made in vain and would have been avoided had reasonable care been exercised.”

    “made in vain” – What exactly does that mean?

    The SA Concise Oxford Dictionary defines as follows: ” useless – having no meaning or likelihood of fulfilment.”

    And now we have another big word, “fulfilment” What exactly does that mean?

    SACOD defines as follows: “achieve or realise (something desired, promised or predicted.)”

    Right!

    So the R60k was spent in order to achieve the desire to relocate the person to another place. It is an established fact that the relocation did not happen.

    The desired outcome was therefore not achieved and remains unfulfilled. In other words, the expenditure was useless and had no meaning.

    In other words, the R60k expenditure “…was made in vain…”

    Right…. Next question.

    Could the expenditure have been avoided.

    I think, yes. It was quite possible to avoid spending the money without any guarantee that it would achieve the desired outcome. All that had to be done was to make sure that the person actually relocated and then only after ascertaining that the relocation had been successfully achieved, made the expenditure.

    Can it be reasonably expected that a person tasked with approving and/or making this kind of expenditure would exercise a level of care to the extent that they would ensure that the desired outcome was achieved before making the actual expenditure?

    I think that expectation is quite reasonable, especially when the person is the accounting officer and working with public funds.

    I would say therefore that the expenditure is certainly “fruitless and wasteful” as defined in the MFMA.

    What now?

    The answer is again to be found in the MFMA.

    Section 32(2) A municipality must recover…fruitless and wasteful expenditure from the person liable for that expenditure…

    Section 32(1)(b) the accounting officer is liable for unauthorised expenditure deliberately or negligently incurred by the accounting officer.

    Quite simple really, the Eden Council MUST take the necessary steps to recover the R60k in fruitless and wasteful expenditure from their accounting officer.

    And what of the policy and precedent we disregarded?

    The law trumps policy and precedent unless of course the precedent is a legal precedent, but in this case I believe there is not legal precedent favouring rank stupidity.

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