Tshwane administrators rope in SARS in bid to clean up capital city

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Lebogang Maile. (Thabo Ramookho)
Lebogang Maile. (Thabo Ramookho)

City of Tshwane administrators have approached the South African Revenue Service's (SARS) legal panel to assist in its clean-up campaign of the capital city.

This was revealed by Lebogang Maile, Gauteng's MEC for urban planning, human settlements and cooperative governance and traditional affairs, at a media briefing on Wednesday.

The MEC, who was joined by Tshwane's new head of municipal administration, Mpho Nawa, and some members of the team, gave a progress report on the work done in the city since their appointment in March.

READ MORE: New administrators for embattled Tshwane

Maile said SARS was being brought in, along with the City's economic development agency's legal panels, with the task of pursuing financial misconduct matters which relate to money lost through corruption.

This includes, among others, an amount of R996 million recommended for legal recovery, stemming from the irregular awarding of tenders in the City.

Investigation

Following the conclusion of these investigations, Maile said, the City would be required to pursue specific post investigation work on the following:

- Prosecuting financial misconduct in line with Section 171 of Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA);

- Rendering specialised and expert support to criminal investigations into cases of common law fraud or corruption in line with PRECCA (Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act); and

- Criminal financial misconduct in line with Section 173 of the MFMA.

The MEC also said the City was facing 645 legal disputes which had been lodged against it.

Legal battle

Maile and the province are embroiled in a legal battle with the DA, which had been in charge of the City, with both lodging court applications against each other.

The Gauteng government is challenging high court findings which set aside its decision to put Tshwane under administration, while the DA is seeking a Section 18(3) application, which would see last month's judgment put into effect immediately.

ALSO READ: DA ready to fight back if Maile attempts to appeal Tshwane court judgment

Maile said, while the province had been satisfied with the work done to turn the troubled metro around, a lot of problems had remained.

Team

"This is a multi-disciplinary, multi-skilled team of very efficient professionals, who know what they are doing, and we think we can get more out of them," said Maile.

He lauded the team for some of its achievements, in spite of operating under lockdown regulations, which has seen a number of economic activities grinding to a halt as South Africa attempts to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

"Tshwane is a city riddled with problems - the administrators have been hard at work to ensure we turn things around," said Maile.

He listed some of the achievements as the work done to alleviate Hammanskraal's water supply challenges, and the administrators being able to secure land for the Mamelodi flood victims to rebuild their homes.

Maile said the City was in the process of appointing a permanent city manager, and had finalised the adjustment budget.

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