ANC puts pressure on municipality over toilet mess

2012-09-19 06:45

The ANC has put pressure on a Mpumalanga municipality to implement the resolutions of a forensic audit report that exposed how R135 million meant for bucket eradication went down the drain.

The Govan Mbeki council in Secunda had been sitting on the SizweNtsaluba VSP report since 2008, and has also ignored a follow-up report, which was done by the Municipal Public Accounts Committee (MPAC) in January this year.

The ANC’s Gert Sibande regional executive committee (REC) has instructed the council to put the matter back on the agenda following a City Press story on the matter.

REC member Sibusiso Sigudla has confirmed the decision, but referred questions to regional secretary Muzi Chirwa who claimed ignorance.

A councillor, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: “The SizweNtsaluba report has been put back to council. However, they’re still trying to cover up by making new recommendations while the MPAC had already done so.”

The report details how poor workmanship and financial mismanagement left residents of Embalenhle with an even bigger problem after the money was spent to eradicate bucket toilets and install sewer connections.

City Press visited the township and found sewage flowing in the streets, and toilets overflowing with excrement due to nertwork blockages.

Residents complained of the stink, and dug furrows to direct the effluent to the storm water drains along the main road.

Just over R78 million of the whole budget was paid to contractors and consultants.

Govan Mbeki municipal spokesperson Themba Motlhankana’s phone rang unanswered and he failed to return messages.

SizweNtsaluba VSP said in their scathing report that they tried to get designs and drawing of the project from Govan Mbeki, the Gert Sibande district municipality and consultants but without success.

The consultants, said the report, were also appointed without following procurement procedures.

“Prior to the implementation of the project, [technical divisions] of the municipalities should have required the consultants to provide them with preliminary designs, drawings and reports for approval,” the report said.

SizweNtsaluba also said that the planning did not deal with the entire area as it was done in sections, which caused the engineers to fail to identify the total number of pump stations that were needed.

MPAC followed up on the SizweNtsaluba investigation, and found that municipal officials had instead diverted funds allocated to fix the problem to hire a company to investigate if due dilligence was done on the project.

This was already done by SizweNtsaluba.

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