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Mayor instructs fast tracking of Covid19 expenditure audit
EThekwini Mayor Councillor Mxolisi Kaunda has called on City officials to fast track the auditing of all monies spent to date in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mayor Kaunda emphasised that the audit, which is currently underway, is meant to assure residents that the City received value for money with every cent spent in response to the pandemic and to ensure that procurement processes were all above board.

On 8 May, Mayor Kaunda launched the R66 million Covid-19 Social Relief Plan in KwaNyuswa. This has seen 1 000 households in all 110 wards being supplied with food during the national lockdown. This was in the form of food hampers and vouchers worth R600. The City also unveiled a sanitasation programme for 22 informal settlements, home to 1 800 households, to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

The City has also started the process of sanitising public transport facilities to ensure that taxi and bus ranks are decontaminated.

To respond to the plight of the homeless, the City also allocated funding to accommodate close to 2 000 homeless people by providing three hot meals a day at eleven temporary shelters around the City. In informal settlements and rural areas where there is no water, static tanks were distributed to ensure that residents have access to clean drinking water.

The City allocated close to R600 million to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. Mayor Kaunda said it was important to note that the expenditure did not exceed the allocated budget, which has been hailed as one of the biggest responses to the pandemic rolled out in the country. “Working with councillors, we identified 1 000 households in each ward in need. A list with identity numbers was compiled where each beneficiary, after receiving their food hampers and vouchers, signed as evidence that they received what was due to them. This helped us to prevent fraudulent activities. This was also to ensure that deserving families benefitted from the programme. This assisted in addressing poverty in the City and we are proud to have made a difference,” Mayor Kaunda said.

He said it was of “paramount importance” that the City commenced with a thorough audit. “Anyone found by this process to have short-changed the poor, will definitely face the full might of the law,” he concluded.
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