The truth about VBS Bank and West Rand municipalities

Dennis Pretorius. File pic.

The West Rand District Municipality (WRDM) invested various amounts with VBS Mutual Bank over a period of two years.

At the time of the appointment of a Curator early in 2018, VBS held R76 million of WRDM’s funds.
According to Dennis Pretorius, WRDM councillor, these funds were earmarked to be spent on grants received from Provincial Government.

“When the investment accounts were opened with VBS, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) confirmed that is was within the legal framework. In August 2017 the Reserve Bank emailed a circular to affected municipalities advising them that it was illegal to invest in a Mutual Bank. WRDM Municipal Manager denies having received such a circular,” Pretorius said.

Also Read: Dysfunctional municipality impacts negatively on service delivery

The Democratic Alliance is in possession of an email circular that makes it clear that it is illegal to invest with VBS. This circular was emailed to the CFO and a senior person in his department.

“The DA will submit a motion of no confidence at the next Council meeting, demanding an investigation and suspension of the Municipal Manager and the Chief Financial Officer. The DA will also submit a motion to insist that life-style audits be conducted of the Mayoral Executive members, the Municipal Manager and senior management of administration.”

The list of municipalities as prepared by the curator indicates that Merafong Local Municipality (MLM) invested with VBS Bank and at the time of the appointment of a curator, an amount of R50m was invested with VBS.

“Press reports over the past weeks linked the Chief Financial Officer of the WRDM to the investments by MLM while the CFO was the Acting Municipal Manager at MLM. The DA has laid criminal charges against the Municipal Managers and Chief Financial Officers of all 14 municipalities that have invested money with VBS and will continue following up on mismanagement of money meant for service delivery.

Pretorius said Mogale City Local Municipality (MCLM) has been rumoured as having invested funds with VBS Mutual Bank.

“Enquiries have revealed that according to the list of municipalities that have invested with VBS, MCLM is not mentioned. I have enquired from reliable sources and I am convinced that MCLM has made no investment in VBS.

“The Democratic Alliance will ensure that the true facts behind these investments and possible payments of commission will be investigated, and disciplinary and criminal action will follow where appropriate.”

Do you perhaps have more information pertaining to this story? Email us at  [email protected] (remember to include your contact details) or phone us on 011 955 1130.

For free daily local news on the West Rand, also visit our sister newspaper websites 

Randfontein Herald

Roodepoort Record

Get It Joburg West Magazine

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  AUTHOR
Janine Viljoen
Editor

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