Rustenburg – Rustenburg Executive Mayor Mpho Khunou this week refuted any suggestions that his municipality was “bankrupt”, saying instead that a recent evaluation of its affairs by Absa bank found its finances were healthy enough to offer it an overdraft of R50 million.
“Absa … made a presentation to the full council in the last ordinary sitting of council. They came to make a presentation and they said: ‘Look we want to offer you an overdraft facility of R50 million because we have assessed your financial health’,” Khunou said on Tuesday.
“A bank will not give you an overdraft if they believe you are bankrupt.”
The mayor was responding to a social media post which claimed that Rustenburg was now “broke”. The post added that when Matthew Wolmarans – the previous mayor – left there was R1.2 billion in the municipal coffers.
“This thing that the municipality is bankrupt, [what] do these people base it [on]?” asked Khunou.
“Rustenburg has a budget of R5.5 billion, it generates more that 80% of that revenue internally. If you generates 80% of your budget from your own revenue, how can you possibly be bankrupt?”
Khunou said the “fresh social media attack” had been launched against him after he had a “discussion” with the chief financial officer (CFO) following a council meeting last Friday.
The mayor said inaccurate information, including an audio recording, was being posted about the “discussion”. He said speculation that the discussion included the municipalities alleged precarious financial position and possible contracts that he could solicit bribes for were far fetched.
“The discussion was a normal occurrence in the day-to-day operations of the municipality,” said the mayor.
African News Agency/ANA