Concerns raised on 2015/2016 annual report

2017-04-12 06:02

THE Democratic Alliance (DA) in KwaDukuza has warned that the KwaDukuza Municipality would have to effectively deal with several challenges for it to achieve a clean audit report.

The party’s caucus leader in KwaDukuza, Madhun Sing said his organisation raised several concerns pertaining to electricity losses and the billing of consumers without meters being read, underspending on capital projects, irregular expenditure, the use of consultants by the municipality and the procurement of goods and services.

He further said the DA also called on an investigation on “collusion between [a] prepaid electricity vendor and [a] former employee.”

“About R500 000 is still not finalised even though the employee is in the employ of another municipality. They must be blacklisted and [possibly] jailed.

“Provincial Treasury has finalised their investigation. Why is it not submitted to council? Again we demand answers?” Singh said.

He said the DA finds it alarming that electricity losses have continued to increase in the last three years which stand at R78 million in the 2015/2016 year.

“Which is unacceptable and leads to direct revenue losses. It is clear the strategy of council is not working despite putting measures in place. The net must be thrown wider to include all illegal users regardless of their status and council must act without fear or favour. This trend cannot continue and must be stopped. Regular updates on progress must be reported to council for further direction and interventions. Political and administrative leadership is required before the situation gets out of control. Indigent policy is in place to take [care] of the poor and vulnerable,” he said.

Commenting on underspending on capital projects, Singh said this directly impacts service delivery which may lead to protest action.

“Realistic allocation towards capital projects given the capacity constraints and finalising procurement of goods and services timeously must be addressed urgently. These are key target areas we cannot fail and it has negative impact on performance and service delivery. It is also worrying in the 2015/2016 year 36% of targets set by council were not met on service delivery performance. However the improvement in spending on capital projects is commendable and we hope this trend continues by following correct procedures,” he said.

Singh said the DA is shocked by how the municipality’s unauthorised, irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure has rocketed to R194 million.

He said his party is curious as to why fruitless and wasteful expenditure from previous years had not been investigated to determine whether any persons were liable for a loss of R3.7 million.

“Someone must be accountable and liable. The rot must stop. Also in the prior period R33.3 million in irregular expenditure was not investigated, is there a cover up? We demand answers.

“Grass cutting amounted to R 21.1 million, for more than five years council failed to award new tenders with all sorts of flimsy excuses not ruling out political interference.

“Ten rogue officials and one councillor have done business with the state institution without disclosing interest or seeking prior approval of consent from the municipality.  They must be named and shamed. They deliberately did not declare interest to enrich themselves and their families,” he said.

Sing said the use of consultants has cost the municipality R29 million which necessitates for internal capacity building.
He said the procurement of goods and services is not fair, equitable and transparent and called on a full scale investigation into a failure to comply with supply chain regulations.

“A case to point out, road projects valued at R27 million, the normal process were deliberately ignored to dish out work for well-connected cronies.
“This type of trend tells us there are bullies and possible political influence which could in the long run cripple our municipalities with inflated prices and we do not get value for money. 
“Piecemeal type of road repairs will cost more in the long run. The master plan that is largely ignored which has been identified in KwaDukuza is roads that have reached their life span and needs to be resurfaced. The roads are in a pathetic condition.”

He said the DA has further called on an investigation into the amendment of a contract without the approval of an official.

“This amounted to R122 771. It must be investigated with firm recommendation to council for action and recovery.

Another bidder was awarded R108 300 despite scoring low. This must also be investigated for recovery and action against crook officials.

“Thirdly, a bidder was awarded contract despite not disclosing local production and content valued at R5 million,” he said.

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