Corné Stoltz will contest Ward 4 in Standerton as an independent candidate – Ridge Times

Corné Stoltz will contest Ward 4 in Standerton as an independent candidate - Ridge Times

Corné Stoltz, former Freedom Front Plus (FFPlus) councillor, will stand as an independent candidate in the by-election scheduled for October 25.

The councillor from Meyerville and TLC resigned from the party and council. He visited the Standerton Advertiser on September 7 at our request.

One of the reasons for resigning was his stance on approving the unfunded budget for the Lekwa Municipality.

Section 18 of the Municipal Finance Management Act requires a municipality’s annual budget to be ‘funded’, and identifies three possible funding sources:

• Realistically anticipated revenues to be collected;
• Cash-backed accumulated funds from the previous years’ surpluses not committed for other purposes; and
• Borrowed funds.

Stoltz made his position clear by saying the council approved an unfunded budget in 2021 on the condition that revenue enhancement would increase.

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According to him, none of the conditions have been fulfilled.

He gave four examples, namely water losses rising from 60% to 75%, Eskom debt rising from R1.6b to R1.9b in two years, the Kieser-reservoir project original tender amount of R24m doubling and R40m on the IDP for the refurbishment of the landfill site for three years.

“The landfill site is a function of the municipality and the unfunded budget works like a wish list,” he said.
According to him, Lekwa appointed a contractor.

He was instructed to adhere to the voting block’s decision to approve the unfunded budget. He distanced himself completely from its consequences.

Stoltz queried whether the funds could not have been spent on the water plant. He also quoted the Constitution of South Africa which regards water as a basic human right.

According to him, the voting block and a coalition are the same.

Only the ANC does not form part of it at this stage since the FFPlus, DA, EFF, Lekwa Community Forum (LCF) and African Transformation Movement (ATM) are in this block.

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He made no bones about many councillors being pay-check collectors.

“I plough back into the community and refuse to lie and mislead people. I will always vote according to what is best for the community.”

The Standerton Advertiser called Werner Weber, provincial leader of the FFPlus, the past week about an allegation that the party in Mpumalanga was placed under administration.

Weber confirmed that it was the case but emphasised no mismanagement of funds occurred. According to him, personnel complained about the conduct of certain party members.

“I voted for the decision to neutralise the situation,” he said.

An administrator, Heloïse Denner, has since been appointed. Hillel Coetzer is the candidate to contest Ward 4 for the FFPlus and it would be a choice for the loyal party supporters between him and Stoltz.

Another candidate or two are par for the course since the DA’s Jannie Degenaar, lost the ward previously to the FFPlus.

According to a reliable source, the DA intends to win it back.

“I will always act in the best interests of the town. I am not going to wash any dirty linen in public,” Stoltz concluded.

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