Msunduzi admits slow progress on fraud probes

2015-10-21 09:57
The red-brick road around the City Hall.

The red-brick road around the City Hall. (Jonathan Burton)

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Pietermaritzburg - The Msunduzi Municipality has admitted to tardiness in rolling out investigations into municipal fraud and corruption, and carrying out disciplinary action against staff.

This comes after the audit committee, an independent body, called the municipality out on its slow progress in dealing with such issues.

The chairperson of the audit committee, Sandile Mnguni, said at a recent executive committee meeting that recommendations regarding disciplinary action to be taken were made to the council after their forensic investigations were completed, however, no further steps were taken.

“The committee urges management to implement the recommendations of the internal audit as soon as possible, as some recommendations require disciplinary action to be undertaken.”

A report to the council highlights a number of investigations that are still awaiting action to be undertaken.

These include the alleged attempted theft of 20 bales of toilet paper, alleged bid process manipulation, fraud and corruption relating to road-marking contracts, and alleged corruption by municipal employees conducting private business for personal gain without informing the council.

Mnguni further highlighted instances of the unauthorised release of vehicles from the traffic impound, fuel theft, private use of municipal vehicles, and the improper conduct of an official in the Vulindlela Rural Housing development.

He said recommendations were sent to the Msunduzi Municipality concerning these cases, but there had been slow progress thereafter.

Msunduzi municipal manager Mxolisi Nkosi said he understood the concerns raised by Mnguni, but the city was dealing with “capacity constraints”, which were slowing down the process of dealing with these matters.

“We are experiencing capacity constraints in terms of completing the investigations. The disciplinary process allows for managers up to Level 3 to be appointed as presiding officers and/or prosecutors. However, the municipality is faced with the challenge of balancing the work demands of these managers versus the disciplinary cases over which they are expected to preside or prosecute,” he said.

Nkosi added that the municipality would do all with its available resources to attend to the matters and recommendations.

DA councillor Bill Lambert asked why the city was taking such a long time to deal with such serious issues. However, Nkosi halted the discussion, saying that it would be discussed under confidential matters and not in the presence of the media

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  msunduzi municipality

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