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Parly committee: Limpopo officials suspended over VBS looting still being paid

Committee chairperson Faith Muthambi said municipalities in Limpopo continued to lose money due to the lengthy suspensions of municipal officials who were involved in decisions to invest in VBS Bank.

FILE: VBS Mutual Bank in Thohoyandou. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Parliament revealed on Wednesday that Limpopo municipalities that invested with VBS Mutual Bank were on a downward spiral, with officials suspended for their involvement in the now-defunct bank still receiving salaries.

Parliament’s portfolio committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs visited the metros to assess the state of service delivery. The province had the highest number of municipalities that illegally invested with VBS and lost R1.2 billion.

Committee chairperson Faith Muthambi said municipalities in Limpopo continued to lose money due to the lengthy suspensions of municipal officials who were involved in decisions to invest in VBS Bank.

“An official has been sitting home while over R900,000 has been paid to them and there was no date set for a disciplinary hearing,” Muthambi said.

Muthambi said service delivery in the province was deeply affected by the VBS looting.

“Yesterday [Tuesday] in Sekhukhune, there one municipality invested over R80 million for the electrification of villages. This means those villages won’t get electricity…,” she said.

The committee chair said they were also concerned by the lack of stability at senior management level in the municipalities, as well as management’s lack of interest on the Hawks’ investigations into the VBS scandal.