PA Collapses Knysna

Issued by Dr Dion George MP –
18 Aug 2023 in News

Note to Editors: Kindly find English soundbite here

The July 2023 Monthly Budget Statement published on the municipal website on 15 August 2023, reveals the devastating financial consequences of the PA collapsing the Knysna DA-led government in May 2022 by withdrawing from the coalition to join an ANC-coalition.

The Coalition of Corruption Executive Mayor, Aubrey Tsengwa, has reported that the Municipality is facing an unprecedented financial crisis. The Municipality has a shortfall of R37.3 million with cash commitments exceeding available cash by this amount. The Municipality is, therefore, commercially insolvent. This means that it does not collect enough money monthly to cover its monthly expenses.

The report further states that it is exceptionally concerning that the Municipality has irregularly utilised grant funding for operational expenses and now runs the risk of grant applications being rejected. Multiple creditors could not be paid at year end because of limited cash flow.

Had the PA not dishonoured the coalition agreement two months into entering the coalition, the DA-led government would have ensured the appointment of a competent municipal manager, chief financial officer and other directors to bring stability to our town. The current financial crisis lies squarely at the door of the fickle PA.

Prior to its reneging on the agreement, the PA demanded that various PA cadres be employed at the Municipality, which the DA refused. The DA-led government was ousted when the PA leader, Gayton McKenzie, instructed his councillors to resign from their mayoral committee posts and effectively withdraw from the coalition between the DA and the PA. Subsequent to that, the PA brought motions of no confidence to oust the DA government and joined in a coalition with the ANC, EFF and PBI to form a new government under an ANC mayor.

The first business of this new government was to illegally amend the organogram and illegally add their cadres to the municipal payroll. These illegal appointments included Michelle Botha, former PA councillor in Bitou and wife of Eugene Botha, PA head of legal affairs. Following action brought by the DA in the Western Cape High Court, that ruled these appointments unlawful, the cadres were forced to vacate their offices.

At that time, we stated that the PA motion of no confidence had nothing to do with service delivery and everything to do with narrow self-interest; and that a coalition of corruption had been cobbled together to loot and steal.

We can now state without hesitation that the consequences of the PA dishonouring their coalition agreement has resulted in the financial collapse of our town, to the detriment of everyone.

The DA in Knysna has already approached the Western Cape Provincial Government for their intervention.