Story By: S’CELO KHUZWAYO, SILINDILE SITHOLE and AYANDA DUBE
The Executive Committee (EXCO) has ordered a full investigation into allegations that some officials and Councillors are doing business with the Municipality and “financial irregularities”. Mayor Obed Mlaba was responding at a press briefing last week to the findings of the latest Auditor-General’s report into eThekwini’s finances, and a flurry of media reports on it and related issues.
Mlaba said EXCP had mandated him to lead the process of appointing qualified investigators. He said anyone found to have broken the law would be prosecuted and asked anyone with information to come forward. A representative of the Auditor- General’s office, Herman van Zyl last month presented his findings to the Council. The Municipality’s finances got an unqualified audit, but certain matters were flagged for attention.
Mlaba said, “While we applaud the fact that our Municipality is in a financially stable position, we were concerned about negative findings, especially in relation to non-compliance with the supply chain management regulations, especially in the Housing Unit, Section 36 awards (where tender procedures are relaxed), the revenue management system and Municipal staff and Councillors doing business with the Municipality. “On this issue, all political parties are together,” Mlaba said.
Democratic Alliance caucus leader, Councillor Tex Collins said the issue transcended politics and affected everyone. “As the DA we accept this investigation 100%,” Collins said. Mlaba said the Municipality had a history of receiving unqualified audits. “We want our records to be clean and continue to be respected in the country and the continent for our clean record,” he said.