‘Take councillors who abuse tender system to court’

Government needs to tighten the tender system in municipalities to fight corruption and take politicians and councillors who abuse it to court, a parliamentary report on service delivery protests recommended.

“The tender system in municipalities needs to be tightened to close gaps that allow corruption to flourish,” the ad hoc committee on co-ordinated oversight on service delivery said.

“Findings of forensic investigations must be made public and civil or criminal cases must be levelled against corrupt officials and/or politicians as well as unscrupulous contractors.”

The committee found that the quality of local governance needed urgent attention “in order to close the gaps that have aggravated tensions” between communities and authorities and fuelled service delivery protests.

The problems include real or perceived corruption, incomplete housing projects or dilapidated public housing, poor communication and poor financial control.

The committee added that though these failures became the obvious target of citizens’ anger, they were representative of problems at higher levels of government.

“It said local government bore the brunt of frustration because it is at the coal face of delivery and therefore closest to citizens.

“It’s important to highlight the fact that it is not only government that needs a turnaround but (that) the whole system of government needs a turnaround.

“A more coordinated planning, implementation and close monitoring of government projects is necessary.”

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