Metro throws a lifeline to SPCA
Interim payment for running of municipal pound extended
The only municipal pound in Nelson Mandela Bay is expected to reopen on Monday.
This comes after the municipality announced it would extend an interim agreement to have the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) run the pound for the next 12 months.
Mayor Mongameli Bobani said during a visit to the SPCA on Thursday that documentation such as a service level agreement and contract would be sent through soon.
The contract between the SPCA and the municipality lapsed in 2015.
As an interim measure, the municipality had a month-to-month contract with the SPCA, which expired in June.
The pound was then closed in September as the municipality owed the SPCA R161,000.
The new service level agreement and contract were welcomed by SPCA committee member Attie Erasmus.
“I am really touched by your generosity and the attitude you are showing,” Erasmus told Bobani.
“On behalf of the governing committee I want to thank you. I will go to the office with a warm heart. We are here for the love of the animals.”
Erasmus said operating without a valid service level agreement had been a challenge for the SPCA.
“The pound is not operating as there’s no proper document in place. This is hurting the metro and it’s hurting us. It is a huge problem.”
Erasmus said about 800 animals were brought into the SPCA every month.
“You can just imagine the sort of traffic that’s coming here. There’s a great need.
“We provide a global function and we’d like to keep it like that.”
The delayed payment brought the SPCA to the brink of closure as it struggled to pay wages.
A motion of exigency was brought before the council by DA councillor Leander Kruger, but the political leadership dismissed it, saying it was not urgent. But on Thursday, Bobani vowed that any other money owed to the SPCA would also be paid.
“We are here today to confirm that we are extending your lease for a period of 12 months. This is just an interim measure as we are supposed to follow the necessary supply chain processes.
“What we have done . . . this is to ensure that you get your stipend and everything else.
“We can’t sit here idly. Fortunately, we can bend the law and we will extend the lease for 12 months.
“This political leadership is in charge of human beings, and animals and everything else.
“We will ensure that nothing happens to the animals.
“They depend on human beings. ”
Bobani said he would donate dog food for the next six months in his personal capacity.
“My daughter and my son are dog lovers. I am also a dog lover and because of that I will donate 150kg of dog food for the next six months from my own pocket,” he said.
Public health portfolio head Yolisa Pali said the crisis with the SPCA had been a priority since she stepped into the position in August.