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Makhanda Municipality reaches out to Gift of the Givers to resolve payment row

The NGO helped the municipality in the Eastern Cape for the past three months amid a drought but after learning that funding would go to private companies for work done by Gift of the Givers, the organisation pulled out.

FILE: Gift of the Givers founder Imtiaz Sooliman. Picture: Kevin Brandt/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Makhanda Municipality is trying to resolve a dispute over funding for relief efforts after the Gift of the Givers withdrew from the drought-stricken area.

The NGO helped the municipality in the Eastern Cape for the past three months.

But after learning that funding would go to private companies for work done by Gift of the Givers, the organisation pulled out.

Gift of the Givers said it intervened on 12 February after the Makana Municipality asked for help on 9 February.

CEO Imtiaz Sooliman said he advised the municipality that R23 million was needed from government to solve the problem. Sooliman said they were assured that funding for their relief efforts would arrive.

“The town was in crisis. People were waiting in queues for water or walking to trucks for water. That is not an acceptable practice.”

The organisation then drilled 15 boreholes, tested the water and delivered water by truck, all at a cost of R15 million.

However, the NGO was recently told that a private consultancy would instead be paid about R10 million.

The department said it transferred R22 million to the municipality to help with drought relief. The department added that it does not dictate to the municipality how money should be spent, and which service providers should be used.

Municipal manager Moppo Mene said the municipality was in talks with Gift of the Givers.

“We have submitted a proposal to the Gift of the Givers in order to find an amicable way to work together so that we can complete the boreholes.”

LISTEN: Why Gift of the Givers withdrew services from Makhanda after spending R15m

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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