Municipal anti-corruption gains momentum

2018-05-04 06:00

FOR years, residents have observed that “fraud and corruption has been spreading like wild fire” in many municipalities, resulting in the lack of respect for the law flourishing around powerful municipal officials and politicians.

Last Friday Greater Kokstad Municipality employees, managers, councillors, government departments and local police took a stand against this and took to the streets of Kokstad to say “no” to fraud and corruption.

This happened after the municipality launched an independent watchdog hotline to fight against fraud and corruption.

The demonstration started at Central Park, Dawer via Hope Street and concluded at Town Hall.

The event was aimed at raising awareness and encouraging people to take part in fighting fraud and corruption and was also the launch of the independent hotline number to fight against corruption.

Speaking after the walk, Greater Kokstad Municipality Mayor Bheki Mtolo said they developed and launched the hotline to show that there will be zero tolerance against fraud and corruption.

“I am asking our communities to use this platform to report any kind of fraud and corruption and people must use it wisely,” said mayor.

He cautioned communities that abusing the hotline number would lead to severe consequences.

The mayor said they launched the hotline number after some municipal cashier allegedly defrauded the municipality of R7.4 million between 2011 and 2012.

“We are serious in fighting fraud and corruption because it steals from poor,” said Mtolo.

Meanwhile, Griqua Traditional Council Chairperson Gabriel Marais who was part of the campaign said they welcome the initiative done by the municipality to fight the scourge against fraud and corruption.

“As Griquas, we believe that the hotline numbers will help in the escalation of the fight against fraud and corruption because it has been regulated by an independent watchdog not by the municipality,” said Marais.

Marais said corruption creates and increases poverty and exclusion while corrupt officials and politicians enjoy a lavish life.

The mayor encouraged communities to report unlawful or irregular behavior including procurement irregularities, staff, senior, junior misconducts, nepotism and harassment.

Many resident attended the demonstration believed that the hotline will promote transparent, accountability and integrity with the municipality.

Denial Malaka, a Kokstad resident said corruption deprive them from basic needs such as food, health, education, housing, access to clean water and sanitation.

“We feel powerless against corrupt officials because the institutions which exist to safeguard citizen’s right are seen as the most corrupt,” said Malaka.

He said that fraud and corruption is the single biggest threat to poor people and that the solution lies with good, ethical leadership, and strong enforcement of laws to fight against it.

The 24-hour fraud and corruption hotline (010 593 0835), fax number number reporting 086 464 6272 or email:kokstad@thecorruptionholine.com

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