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City curbs Section 36 usage
​​EThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede (centre), City Manager
Sipho Nzuza (right) and Deputy Mayor Fawzia Peer (left).
The City’s political and administrative leadership is working
towards ensuring clean governance.
ETHEKWINI Municipality remains committed to good governance and has implemented measures to reduce the use and abuse of Section 36 in the City. City Manager, Sipho Nzuza, has also given his reassurance that he would be measuring the impact of these controls to ensure Section 36 is not used unnecessarily in the procurement of goods and services in the City.

He stressed that he will not consider Section 36 reports unless they are fully justifiable. “Anything that needs to be procured must be planned for and those that result in irregular expenditure, consequence management should follow,” he said.

Head of Supply Chain Management (SCM) André Petersen said to ensure transparency and address concerns, all circumstances for deviations (other than emergencies) are reported beforehand to the Executive Committee. He said the Policy also requires that the unit or department invoking the use of Section 36, must in all reports to Bid Adjudication Committee (BAC), demonstrate that the use of this provision: is not as a result of poor planning and has taken into account that it does not prejudice other potential tenderers in terms of the requirements of section 217 of the Constitution of South Africa – fair, equitable, transparent, cost-effective and competitive. Petersen said the Accounting Officer has instructed that Section 36 reports go via the BAC to test if the provisions of the SCM policy have been met.

Furthermore, respective unit heads must sign off a report to BAC invoking Section 36 and that they are accepting full responsibility and accountability for the report and its contents. Petersen added that if there is any detection of poor planning, the unit head must apply consequence management, which ranges from disciplinary action through to instituting criminal charges if warranted. If there is suspected fraud and corruption, charges can be laid after investigation by the City Integrity and Investigations Unit.

The City’s SCM Policy 2017 allows for the deviation from, and ratification of minor breaches of, procurement processes. It states that the accounting officer may dispense with the official procurement processes established by this Policy and to procure any required goods or services through any convenient process, which may include direct negotiations, but only: in an emergency; if such goods or services are produced or available from a single provider; for the acquisition of special art or historical objects where specifications are difficult to compile; acquisition of animals for zoos and/or nature and game reserves and in any other exceptional case where it is impractical or impossible to follow the official procurement processes.

charmel.payet@durban.gov.za
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