CHDM grant under scrutiny

The Chris Hani District Municipality (CHDM) has depleted its Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) grant funding of R6m three months before the workers’ contracts end.

This was revealed during the district municipality’s integrated development plan (IDP) representative forum held at the Queens Casino and Hotel last Thursday.

The forum was held to discuss the municipality’s finances, among other things, and was attended by representatives from various government departments.

Attendees queried how, of all the conditional grants received by the municipality, only the EPWP grant was spent in its entirety as at March 31 for the 2018/19 financial year.

An amount of R6 158 000 was received for the programme for a period of 12 months and the workers still had three more months to work.

A query about where the money to pay workers for the remaining months would come from was raised, which had attendees worried it might be taken from other grants.

Reacting to questions from The Rep, CHDM spokeswoman Thobeka Mqamelo said the municipality’s

EPWP-aligned job creation activities cut across various directorates which had projects that were labour intensive.

We receive allocation for the program each financial year. The allocation will vary according to available resources from the source department, public works. For example, for 2018/19 financial year, a lesser grant funding was received. The overall budget amounted to R6m and was used in line with its conditions. Directorates that still had projects running under the EPWP followed prescribed council processes to accommodate these from their operational budgets during the budget adjustment process. Therefore no grant funding was compromised in this regard.”

Mqamelo said it was worth noting that no new contracts had been entered into and that all contract time lines depended on a given project, but could exceed a 12 month period.

She said the new intake was expected to start in the next financial year starting in July.

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