South Africa: Auditor-General - R25 Million of R30 Million Drought Relief Grant for Graaff-Reinet Goes 'Missing'

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Only R5m of a R30m grant for drought relief provided to the Dr Beyers Naudé Local Municipality, based in Graaff-Reinet, was spent. The rest of it cannot be traced. This was one of the findings made by the auditor-general in a report on the municipality's finances for the 2018/2019 financial year.

As Graaff-Reinet was hit by its worst drought to date and the Nqweba Dam dried up, residents had to deal with extreme water-shedding. The town ran dry and many residents had to stand in line for drinking water provided by organisations such as Gift of the Givers.

In 2018 the Beyers Naudé Municipality, based in Graaff-Reinet, was given R30-million to deal with the drought disaster. The bulk of this grant - R25-million - however, went missing and auditors were unable to account for where it went. This is one of the findings by the auditor-general in his consolidated general report on local government outcomes published last week.

Derek Light, the chairperson of the Graaff-Reinet Development Forum, an umbrella body comprising civil society organisations and local government in Graaff-Reinet, said he hoped it was "just an accounting problem".

"We work on an apolitical basis and we were...

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