Business forum demands Mandeni MM be removed

2016-11-09 06:01

PROTEST action broke out in Mandeni last Wednesday which was allegedly staged by locally based contractors who called for the removal of the municipal manager whom they claim overlooks local service providers and businesses when awarding contracts, or tenders.

"A group of people were protesting outside the municipality office. They used their vehicles to block the entrance. Nothing was damaged. A case of public violence was opened at Mandeni police station for investigation and no arrests have been made," said KZN SAPS spokesperson captain Nqobile Gwala.

Mandeni Municipality spokesperson Mduduzi Manzi said no municipal workers were part of the strike but rather it was members from the Mandeni Business Forum.

He said the municipal executive committee led by mayor Siphesihle Zulu engaged with the protesters to listen to their concerns.

Manzi said this was the first time that the municipality received a complaint of this nature.

"The municipality normally holds meetings with all stakeholders within its jurisdiction and these include those who were protesting where issues require urgent intervention, directions and guidance are always provided," he said.

He said previous requests by the forum to meet with the municipality have always been honoured and where issues were raised, solutions were provided.

He said the claim that the municipal manager overlooks local contractors when awarding tenders is unfounded.

"Mandeni Municipality abides by the laws and regulations that govern the operations of local government when conducting business. The municipal Supply Chain Management Policy always complies with when the municipality procures any goods or services to enhance its operations and service delivery. There are other municipal programmes in place focusing on the upliftment of local entrepreneurs," said Manzi.

He said the council is investigating the matter raised by the forum and will respond accordingly in due course.

Manzi said according to municipal records local businesses are getting a fair share of contracts.

"It must be stated that not all business opportunities can be created by the municipality considering its budget and the amount of work that is outsourced. Other sectors, both public and private, are always encouraged to also play their part in prioritising local businesses when doing business within Mandeni," he said.

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