Hawks investigate alleged fraud at Kopanong

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The Hawks have confirmed that they are investigating a case of fraud at Kopanong Local Municipality in the Free State.

Hawks spokesperson in the province, S’fiso Nyakane, told OFM News the investigation into the case opened by the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) is still at an early stage.

This comes after the municipality failed to pay over its and employees’ pension fund contributions to the tune of R52 million, despite deducting the contributions from employees’ salaries for over a decade. The municipality also did not pay over medical aid contributions to the tune of R4,1 million, resulting in some employees finding themselves having to pay cash for medical treatment.

This financially strained municipality is struggling to pay salaries in time as well. Disgruntled workers took to the streets on June 21, demanding that the contributions be paid over urgently.

Yesterday Samwu provincial secretary Thabang Tseuoa told OFM News the municipality had sent over an agreement to the union on Monday, July 9, committing to pay the full medical aid contributions and a portion of the R 52 million pension fund contributions.

This comes ahead of the release of the Auditor-General’s report on the performance of Free a State Municipalities today.

The embattled municipality, which has faced water interruptions imposed by Bloem Water for non-payment, was on the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Zweli Mkhize’s list of dysfunctional and distressed municipalities that required urgent attention.

The municipality garnered attention after it was revealed that the mining town of Jagersfontein had been facing water restrictions since last year with some areas not accessing water at all.

OLEBOGENG MOTSE / OFM News