R500?mln in tenders given to public servants’ families

2014-08-01 00:00

MORE than R500 million in municipal tenders have been awarded to suppliers in which municipal employees and councillors had an undeclared stake.

Municipalities across South Africa also awarded more than R100 million worth of tenders to spouses, children and parents of councillors and employees.

This information is contained in the municipal audit report of Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu, which was issued on Wednesday in Pretoria.

The report states that irregular expenses of R466 million in Gauteng included tenders awarded to suppliers in which councillors, municipal employees and other public servants had undeclared interests.

Makwetu stated in his report not declaring interest in an entity doing business with the government was corrupt and fraudulent, “which has to be investigated and prosecuted”.

Legislation prohibits awarding municipal tenders to municipal employers, councillors or other public servants, as well as to entities in which they have a stake.

“At 19 municipalities employers did not declare their interests in tenders of R70 million, while suppliers at 27 municipalities also did not do so,” Makwetu said.

He said the lack of control mechanisms at municipalities may show municipalities do not take corruption and fraud seriously.

It was likely that councillors, municipal managers and purchasing officials could also have undue influence on awarding tenders, he said.

His report states about 1 617 tenders, of R445 million, were awarded by 178 municipalities to suppliers in which a public servant had an undeclared interest.

According to the report, tenders of R115 million were awarded to spouses, children or parents of municipal employees or councillors at 45 municipalities.

At nine municipalities employees and councillors did not declare tenders of R44 million in their annual reports, while suppliers at 19 municipalities also failed to declare tenders of R62 million.

The reports stated that although tenders to family members are not prohibited, any amount over R2 000 must be declared to ensure transparency in municipalities’ financial statements.

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