SEKHUKHUNE – The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Limpopo says that the cash strapped Polokwane Municipality has returned R57.4 million in unspent grant funds.
The DA lambasted that the ANC-led municipality has failed to spend R57.4 million in funding vital projects.
The party said that came after Polokwane Municipality made an application on 31 August 2021 for unspent conditional grant rollover to the National Treasury.
According to the DA the rollover application was for R76.5 million, of which only R19.5 million was approved and R57.4 million was denied.
It informed that funds that did not meet the requirements for rollover comprised of R4.6 million from the Water Services Infrastructure Grant (WSIG), R22.3 million from the Integrated Urban Development Grant and R29.7 million from the Public Transport Network Grant.
Tiny Chidi, DA Polokwane Municipality Councillor on MPAC, said that reasons for the rollovers being denied were for issues of late appointment of contractors and an absence of proof of commitment like appointment letters for service providers for projects.
Chidyi explained that the criteria for the rollover of conditional grant funds required that unspent funds must be allocated to identifiable projects and that there must be proof that contractors or service providers were appointed for the delivery of projects before March 31.
“This means that projects that were earmarked under these grants will no longer proceed and raise greater concern about whether the municipality will be able to remedy the situation. The DA is especially concerned about the R4.6 million of the WSIG that will be lost while the municipality has a serious water crisis.
The denied rollover funds will likely have effect on Cash Reserve Revenue (CRR) projects as the grant funds have been taken away and the municipality might divert money from CRR to fund projects affected by the failed rollover,” said Chidi.
Chidi added that would negatively affect the municipality’s ability to carry out crucial services for residents of Polokwane such as procurement of yellow fleet vehicles, road repair projects, maintenance of traffic lights, boreholes, pump stations as well as a sewer and water reticulation infrastructure.