Metro agrees to hand embattled SPCAs a financial lifeline

By Mamela Gowa

The financially challenged SPCA in East London and King William’s Town will soon receive a much needed cash boost from Buffalo City Metro.

This is after council recently approved new agreements between the city and the two societies.

SAVING GRACE: SPCA worker Gina Duze bonding Picture: SINO MAJANGAZA

For years the East London and King William’s Town societies have been receiving R10000 and R6600 a month respectively from the metro.

The revised amount as part of the new agreements will now see each society receive R60000 a month.

The issue of the outstanding agreements between BCM and the SPCAs has been brought before the council by DA councillor Sue Bentley for two years.

Following council approval about two weeks ago, Bentley said she was happy the non-profit organisations (NPOs) would finally get the cash assistance they needed to rescue animals and also conduct educational programmes to teach communities to fight animal cruelty.

Although the council approved the new agreements on July 26, the Daily Dispatch understands they have not been signed yet.

BCM spokesman Samkelo Ngwenya refused to give details of when they would be signed.

“Council has given us the mandate to pursue this relationship and currently the document is undergoing technical scrutiny at management level.

“Once this is done we will no doubt put pen to paper,” he said.

In his report to council, BCM city manager Andile Sihlahla wrote: “The absence of an agreement between the two stakeholders will contribute to the escalation of small stray animals in the streets and homes within BCM that could result in illness, injury or even death to citizens.”

However, he added that even the R120000 to be equally divided among the societies was “insufficient, considering the running costs of the SPCAs”.

“East London and King William’s Town SPCA’s requested amounts of R79440 and R96400 respectively, based on the actual costs of running the pound.

“However, the amount required is R1440000 annually and the current budget for 2017-18 is R222200.

“The shortfall is R1217800,” said Sihlahla.

The agreements state that the societies undertake to act as agents for BCM, to keep all animals brought to it by an authorised officer or the public, or to collect them as required by the authorised officer.

BCM will pay the new monthly fee in arrears commencing from July 1.

The SPCA has agreed to conduct public awareness and education campaigns in communities existing in its areas of operations from time to time and when the need arises.

“The SPCA must keep small animals that are impounded for a period of five working days. In the event that any small animal is not lawfully claimed within such period, the ownership in such animal shall vest in the SPCA, who shall have the right to re-home the animals humanely or deal with the animal in a manner that SPCA considers appropriate.

“Large [farm] animals are kept at the SPCA for two weeks.

“If no-one comes in to claim the animal, the animal becomes the property of the SPCA and is then advertised in the local newspaper.

“We then wait a further two weeks after publication of the advert and then the animal is sold to defray costs,” the agreement states. —

-Dispatch Live


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