Mayor calls for inquiry into calendars, diaries

2009-02-19 00:00

Following The Witness article on the allegations of wasteful expenditure on calendars and diaries that cost the Umvoti (Greytown) Municipality more than R50 000, Mayor Petros Ngubane has called for an investigation into the awarding of the job.

The Witness reported earlier this month that opposition party the DA alleged that the IFP-led municipality squandered more than R50 000 on 100 calendars and 100 diaries for the council.

The DA referred to the expenditure as an "absolute waste". However, Ngubane said at the time that paying such an amount for the calendars and diaries was money well spent.

The printing, which was done in Durban, angered printing companies in Greytown, who alleged that the awarding of the contract did not follow proper procurement procedures when going to tender.

The calendars were printed on "mere" cardboard and contained mistakes, according to a businessman who has previously done similar jobs for the municipality. The name of the deputy mayor, SV Zondi, appeared as SV Ndlovu on the calendars.

A spokesperson for the company that printed the calendars and diaries said they printed the job received from the agent, Zanozi Trading cc, for under R12 000.

The Witness is in possession of two invoices to the municipality by Zanozi Trading cc for the payment of the calendars and diaries. The first invoice is for an amount of R54 080 and the second for an amount of R30 540.

Sources in the municipality, who wish to remain anonymous, said that the second, lower amount shows that the procurement department is trying to sweep the matter under the carpet.

DA councillor Paul Buss said that his party has been made aware of the existence of two invoices. They are not at all surprised, he added. He said that this proves once again that the expenditure on calendars and diaries was a waste of taxpayers' money.

"This incident is possibly the tip of the iceberg and we call for a full investigation into our procurement department," said Buss.

Ngubane said that he had not seen the invoices, but told The Witness that he instituted an investigation.

"I am waiting for a report from the municipal manger about whether or not the procurement processes were properly followed and how many quotations were received and for how much," said Ngubane.

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