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DA Provincial Leader, Jacques Smalle.

DA: Treasury could have minimised VBS losses

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The DA in Limpopo has applauded the Auditor-General’s (AG) decision to probe the role of Treasury and the South African Reserve Bank in the VBS Mutual Bank collapse.
Jacques Smalle, DA Provincial Leader said the party was in possession of a letter dated 19 June, in which the AG confirms that he would look into Treasury/SARB, according to the AGSA policies, procedures as well as the relevant timelines.
Smalle said Limpopo municipalities invested the money with VBS without acquiring the necessary council resolutions and transgressed all sections in Government Gazette No 27431 published on 1 April 2005, the Municipal Finance Management Act ( MFMA) and Municipal Investment Regulations.
“During August 2017 National Treasury issued a directive to remind municipalities to take prudent steps to ensure that investments must be with credit-worthy institutions and compliant to gazette regulations. Only three municipalities heeded the call and their investments were returned by VBS with interest,” he said, adding that the DA believes that there is a positive duty on Treasury to ensure compliance with financial regulations.
“Limpopo Provincial Treasury had knowledge of the illegal investments through the monthly Section 71 reports they receive from municipalities,” Smalle claimed.
He said proactive steps from Treasury would have minimised the losses incurred by municipalities.
“The VBS heist has wreaked havoc on the lives of poor people in Limpopo who have lost their life savings due to the corruption of greedy ANC politicians and their cronies. Anyone who could have prevented this heist and did not act, must be held accountable.”
Thulani Twala, Spokesperson for Treasury, said the AG’s communique had not yet reached the department, but the department has already taken steps against two people within the department, one of which has resigned before the finalisation of his disciplinary hearing, and corrective measures have been taken against the other official.
“The premier has taken steps against those involved, and law enforcement agencies are in the process of taking action against more officials. We believe the law must take its course. It is a process and we support this process. People must be held accountable. The law enforcement agencies have already indicated that municipal officials are next in line.”

Story: Nelie Erasmus
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