Limpopo is bleeding and reports unhealthy balance-sheet

Gordhan said some members of Premier Cassel Mathale’s government may have ordered suppliers in the province to withhold their services to render the intervention efforts “useless” in the eyes of the public.

Zuma had authorised a high-level intervention in the province after it ran out of cash.


Gordhan said his department was investigating and he viewed the actions as tactics aimed at sabotaging the intervention.


“There are sabotage attempts so as to blame the national government for its intervention in the province. That is why law-enforcement agencies are investigating the matter.


“Some officials have been making a lot of public statements. That’s why we believe there are sabotage attempts,” he said.


He said Mathale had assured him of cooperation in the two meetings he had held with him “but some members of his team don’t agree with this spirit”.


Five Limpopo departments – health, education, public works, treasury and roads and transport – were placed under national administration by Cabinet last year after the provincial government ran into a R1.5bn deficit that almost saw public servants going unpaid in November.


Gordhan, together with Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi, Basic Education’s Angie Motshekga, Public Works”s Thulas Nxesi, Transport Minister S’bu Ndebele, Public Service and Administration’s Roy Padayachee, and Andries Nel, the Deputy Justice and Constitutional Development Minister, said yesterday that revealed that the province was technically bankrupt.


He was addressing a media briefing in Polokwane yesterday.


These ministers are part of the team deployed by the cabinet to help the province stabilise its finances.


Gordhan said the province faced a potential shortfall of R2bn at the end of this financial year. It was also revealed that the province had accumulated unauthorised expenditure that had grown from R1.5bn in 2009 to R2.7bn last year.


The ministerial team has since uncovered possible illegal payments by certain departments to service providers and “further investigation will determine how the province and its executive made these decisions”.


“In recent times the province was paying certain service providers eight times a month. The frequency of payments did not provide for an opportunity for proper verification,” Gordhan said.

But the intervention has since been turned into a political ball game ahead of the ANC national elective conference in Mangaung in December.


Mathale yesterday condemned the sabotage allegations.


“I raised the issue of nonpayment of service providers with Gordhan and that it needed urgent attention,” Mathale said.

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