Councils abuse process

2014-08-05 00:00

A MASSIVE R87 million has been spent by KwaZulu-Natal municipalities using emergency deviations that do not require expenditure going to tender.

A parliamentary reply to a Democratic Alliance question on tender deviations revealed that emergency regulations had been used in at least 279 cases, in transactions totalling R87 million.

The DA’s Mark Steele says that despite this “damning information”, the province’s Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Department (Cogta) has not investigated any of the explanations given by these municipalities. “Effectively, nobody has been held to account,” he said.

Steele added that the response to his question showed that Umdoni Municipality was the worst offender with the highest tally of R43 million, followed by Okhlamba with R15,5 million and Uthukela with R11,9 million.

He said these municipalities had at least responded, while other local authorities had not bothered to supply information on how often they had used the emergency deviations.

According to the DA, the Municipal Finance Management Act states that normal supply chain management procedure may only be bypassed under exceptional circumstances through the use of Section 36 regulations.

Steele said his party demands that Cogta and the KZN Treasury launch a combined investigation into these transgressions and determine who should be held accountable. He added that the provincial Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) has been receiving general reports on irregular expenditure, but that the problem of Section 36 violations needs a special and comprehensive report of its own.

“Every effort must be made to establish whether these instances warranted avoiding normal procedure. Failure to do so will only encourage further exploitation of the system,” Steele said.

uMngeni Municipality came under fire last week for hiring two bodyguards using the emergency deviations. Councillors were shocked to learn that they would pay R488 800 for the mayor’s bodyguards in the next year.

• nalini@witness.co.za

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.