Although i don’t believe the ISDF (30-year plan for Knysna] is the reason for Mayor Georlene Wolmaran’s second arse-about-face in the past month (remember her aborted attempt to push it through two weeks ago), the ISDF is, in fact, a real reason not to appoint Grant Easton as Municipal Manager.
It was on his watch, as Finance Director, that half a million rand was illegally paid to the illegal tender ‘winner’ of the ISDF before there was even a contract – that’s a serious failure of supply chain management but, miraculously (like Plettenberg Bay with it’s housing scandal and massive electricity fraud), Knysna Municipality received an unqualified audit (what they like to proclaim as a “clean audit”).
The Auditor General also pointed out R9-million in tender irregularities as a result of Easton giving a 10% advantage to local companies (i can’t help but wonder if they are mostly white considering the protests and objections by coloured and black contractors). As much as i want to support and promote local business, i’d rather that money have been used to fix all our roads (and if the figure is as high as the R130-million Grant Easton claimed, then i’d rather have had all our infrastructure, from water pipes to wastewater plants, fixed to perfection).
At a Section 80 meeting in September 2014, Easton said, “Rates are going to have to go up in double figures.” He also said that Knysna should drop its standards because, “This is Africa.”
Notably for me, considering the 4 years i’ve sought justice, Easton was involved in the Knysna Tourism debacle. He was party to funding the organisations debt with taxpayer’s cash. That it happened several times is damning enough but even more so considering that at a meeting of the Financial Sub-Committee of Tourism, held on February 2013, Easton stated that the application for the grant-in-aid should be submitted one week later. He and the others then went on to talk about the organisation’s budget problems, noting that “concern was raised on how to manage the shortfall. It was explained that it would be done through the grant in aid”. That’s illegal in BLACK & WHITE. That’s the same as throwing public money in the rubbish bin.
Knysna Municipality’s supply chain management was assassinated. It’s termed “fruitless and wasteful expenditure” which carries a prison sentence of up to 5 years. At the very least, all those involved, such as Knysna Tourism CEO Greg Vogt and Deputy Mayor Esme Edge (both promoted after their massive failures), would have to pay back the money. For that, i had meant to charge Easton and 38 other people today but, since the Hawks have yet to respond to me, i will wait until Monday (and simply file the charges at the Knysna SAPS if they haven’t responded by then).
I have only been granted an appointment with Grant Easton once… but Easton cancelled it once he found out what his receptionist had done. He definitely did not respond to my letter entitled ‘Urgent: Dear Knysna Politicians & Directors’.
In ‘Did Grant Easton Do the Wrong Thing for Knysna?’, i explained why his paying for the studies of ANC Chief Whip Stephen De Vries was financial misconduct.
He is not the man for Knysna yet this is the man that the Democratic Alliance wants for us.
If he gains the highest position in our town, it will likely mean the continuation of cover-up. That is not in our best interests. That would be in his and political self-interest. Why else would he try nab the post of Municipal Manager which would drop his exorbitant salary by as much as R300 000 due to new upper limits?
PS: The last two municipal manager appointments cost us dearly. We are continually getting screwed. Easton is simply Part 3 in an ongoing fiasco which you can read about here: