South Africa – Mashaba says rampant corruption cost Johannesburg millions

City Press

2017-01-26 16:56

Three officials who were employed by the state benefited from the City of Johannesburg to the tune of R18.5 million, according to an Auditor-General report that was released today.

Corruption, nepotism and the falsification of documents are some of the issues revealed by the Auditor-General in the city’s integrated annual report for the 2015-2016 financial year.

R52.6-billion was the allocated budget for the city during this period, and was meant to service more than 4.6 million people in the Johannesburg metro.

“The report by the Auditor-General confirms the rampant maladministration witnessed under the previous ANC-led government and is an indictment of that administration,” mayor Herman Mashaba said today after the report’s release.

During the audit a flawed monitoring process was picked up. This flawed process, which was not picked up by the city’s own processes, raised the total irregular expenditure to R1.78 billion.

“This points to flaws in the city’s monitoring processes that perpetuated a culture of corruption and secrecy,” Mashaba said.

It is against the city’s supply chain management regulations to award people or entities owned or managed by people in the service of the city, yet three officials who were employed by the state unduly benefited from the city to the amount of nearly R18.5 million.

Other glaring findings include:

» Contracts that were procured without inviting competitive bids;

» Contracts without valid tax clearance from the South African Revenue Services; and

» Contracts without approval from the appropriate officials.

“One contract with a total value of R18.9 million was awarded to a bidder who did not meet the minimum threshold for local production and content,” the report said.

In order to address these issues, Mashaba said that a compliance unit or screening committee was “intensified to interrogate compliance in detail and scrutinise all supply chain management contracts and ensure compliance”.

The city has also done the following:

» Made amendments to the administration of the tender system to improve its efficiency and promote transparency and fairness; and

» Capacitated the city’s internal anti-corruption unit, which will scrutinise cases in desperate need of investigation within the city.

There are 33 000 City of Johannesburg employees, and according to Mashaba they “must be aligned to the outcomes of our service and economic delivery”.

“Corruption is public enemy number one in this city and we must ensure that this municipality’s funds go to those it ought to – its residents.

“As executive mayor, I will set the right tone at the top by insisting on credible feedback regarding good governance disciplines and exercising my oversight responsibility to ensure accountability, performance and consequence management where necessary,” Mashaba said.

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