Union calls for forensic audit of municipality

2016-11-18 06:00
Union members and hawkers march to the municipality offices. Photo: supplied

Union members and hawkers march to the municipality offices. Photo: supplied

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AT a peaceful march in Umzimkhulu on Friday Cosatu members called for a forensic audit of the Umzimkhulu Municipality.

Apart from Cosatu, Nehawu, Samwu­ and hawkers from Gateway and municipal buildings at Umzimkhulu took part.
Gugulethu Mavuma, Umzimkhulu secretary of Cosatu, said the municipality must be investigated by the Department of Co-operate Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) to root out corruption and nepotism.

“The march was held so that we could voice our anger and frustration about the conduct of the municipal leadership that has not bothered to respond to our letters since 6 October.
“At the local government elections federation members spoke about fighting corruption.”

Grievances that were listed on a memorandum included a forensic audit regarding the renovation of Umzimkhulu Memorial Hall, the building of a testing ground, the building of traffic department offices and the procurement of the municipal fleet.

Hawkers who were part of the march were concerned about legal trading permits, which the municipality is failing to release, resulting in them being harassed by municipality police for not having trading permits.

The memorandum also called for an investigation into allegations of the municipality selling trade permits and stealing funds.

The municipality recently held a media briefing about the progress of development in Umzimkhulu. At the briefing the municipality highlighted that a contractor was chased away for not performing as per the agreement during the renovation of memorial hall and a new one was hired.
It was also said that the hall is now 53% complete.
The memorandum was accepted by a senior Cogta official. Cosatu requested that investigations start within 14 days from the date of march.

On Monday the municipality spokesperson Willie Mgcina was asked to respond to the allegations, and yesterday responded.

Fever publishes the response verbatim.
“The municipality is not holding any permit for hawkers though they were requested to come and renew their permits. The hawkers were given space to present their case to the municipality eventually agreed to process their grievances with the time frame of end October. Therefore they wanted to do the follow up and the meeting was already arranged though the hawkers could not understand.

“The municipality has not yet responded to the grievances of Cosatu and we are still waiting for Cogta to come to us for the responses,” said Willie Mgcina

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