Longer wait for hotline launch

2014-07-25 00:00

MSUNDUZI residents will have to wait a while longer before the council’s much-vaunted whistleblowing hotline is launched.

It was supposed to have happened today, but the date has been changed to Friday, August 8, subject to confirmation. Both Mayor Chris Ndlela and executive committee (Exco) member Bill Lambert were unhappy about the delay.

“It is important for the eighth to be the anticipated final day,” Ndlela warned officials.

The hotline has been outsourced so the public feels confident about their anonymity being maintained.

A report on the whistleblowing policy was presented to Exco, which said concerns expressed anonymously were difficult to investigate but would be followed up with “boundless bravery”.

The mayor warned against the abuse of the hotline for political purposes or for character assassinations.

Lambert expressed concern that other investigations into fraud and corruption carried out at the municipality resulted in little feedback on the progress in those matters. He hoped this would not be the case with issues emanating from the hotline. He asked the officials to give Exco an overall report on current fraud and corruption matters within the municipality. Deputy municipal manager for Economic Development Dr Ray Ngcobo said he would take the request to the municipal manager, Mxolisi Nkosi.

Lambert said that when the hotline was operational, he hoped somebody would be on the other end to receive the tip-offs. “The history of connectivity and communication between residents and the municipality is not a good story to tell,” he added.

The Witness tried to find out the status of cases instituted after the municipality went under administration. The head of the internal audit unit, Petros Mahlaba, said the figures will be released by the mayor on August 8.

• nalini@witness.co.za


• All municipal staff from the most senior official to most junior worker can be reported to the line when it is launched. Contract and temporary workers, consultants, municipal entities and councillors also fall under its ambit.

• Issues that can be reported include crimes being committed or firm suspicions of criminal acts. Staff or councillors acting contrary to the legal requirements of their positions or situations where the health and safety of an individual is endgangered. The Whistleblowing policy also covers incidents where the environment is being or is likely to be damaged and the reporting of unfair discrimination.

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