A KwaZulu-Natal municipal worker has been arrested for allegedly stealing R4m earmarked as a payment to Eskom.
The co-operative governance and traditional affairs department (Cogta) in KwaZulu-Natal said in a statement on Tuesday that the Abaqulusi municipal official allegedly sent money to his account during a transaction with power utility Eskom in December 2019.
In March last year, the embattled northern KwaZulu-Natal municipality faced an electricity switch-off because of exorbitant debts owed to Eskom.
“It is alleged that in December 2019, when the municipality was making a payment of R3,918,716.89 to Eskom, an official changed the recipient’s banking details. When the bank discovered the discrepancy, the said official went further to instruct the bank to continue with the payment,” said Cogta.
They were able to recover R2,596,547.25 from the official’s account.
Cogta MEC Sipho Hlomuka warned officials against the looting of municipal funds.
“We are very concerned by instances of corruption. As a department, we have a zero-tolerance policy for corruption within the sphere of local government because it compromises the fiscal standing of our municipalities and their ability to deliver services to our communities,” he said.
“Municipalities are not piggy banks for unscrupulous officials,” warned Hlomuka.
“The department will be keeping a keen eye on the police investigation into the matter at Abaqulusi,” he said.