City ends deals with staff

2013-10-30 00:00

AFTER years of neglect, eThekwini Municipality has finally approved a new strategy to close gaps and loopholes in its supply chain management policy.

Members of the executive committee yesterday approve a revised policy to put a stop to councillors and officials doing business with the city.

Municipal manager Sbu Sithole said their officials and councillors are not allowed to do business with the city.

“Officials know that doing business with the city would not be taken lightly — it’s a dismissible offence.”

The policy would also address the declarations by those bidding for contracts if they are employed by other government departments.

In future, no quote or bid would be considered unless the service provider’s full name and identification number, or company registration details, are given.

Identity numbers would be run through the government’s Persal system to see if individuals are employed by other departments. People who have not declared such employment would have their contracts cancelled and be blacklisted, said Sithole.

He said the electronic quote management system would be retained in the new policy, but the manual system of sourcing quotes would also be incorporated in part.

He said their new initiative is supported by the National Treasury.

The policy also makes provision for sureties and retention contracts. Sithole said that five percent of the value of construction-related contracts valued at R1 million to R10 million would be retained until completion of the projects, and 10% for contracts valued over R10 million.

The city was heavily criticised for irregular expenditure amounting to R1,324 billion in the 2010/11 financial year. Sithole said the new plan would tighten internal controls to address such expenditure and be reviewed annually to ensure it was complied with.

He said the city currently has no councillors or officials doing business with the municipality. Last year, three ANC councillors, including the city’s chief whip, Stanley Xulu, were slapped with fines for conducting business worth over R10 milion with the municipality. Xulu was fined R195 000, Senzakhona Shange R18 187 and Nondumiso Cele R8 248.

DA caucus leader Zwakele Mncwango cautioned the city not to use verbal quotations as provided for in the new policy, saying it was open to abuse.

“The reviewed policy is good, but allowing verbal quotations would allow people in the supply chain management chain to abuse that loophole,” he said.

The new policy goes to the full council for approval today.

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