GROBLERSDAL – The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Sekhukhune District Municipality announced it would write to the Acting Municipal Manager (MM), Mpho Mofokeng, seeking an urgent meeting regarding the R269 million which was incurred by the municipality as unauthorized irregular for 2018/2019 financial year.
The party said it could confirm that over R194 million of unauthorized expenditure was incurred by the municipality in the period between July2018 and June 2019 due to fraud and tender irregularities.
According to the DA in some cases, contracts were awarded by the municipality to politically connect5ed person without due processes being followed.
Solomon Maila, DA caucus leader in SDM, said the municipality had on various occasions either overpaid contractors and suppliers or deposited millions of rands into wrong accounts.
Maila said those so-called errors, that seemed to be nothing else but deliberate acts of corruption, had cost the municipality well over R21 million since 2019 to date.
“In addition, over R74 million was incurred as irregular expenditure, mainly due to non-compliance with the Supply Chain Management Regulations. The DA will insist that steps be taken against all officials of the municipality implicated in fraud and corruption. Furthermore, the DA will ensure that the unauthorized and irregular expenditure is referred to the Municipal Public Accounts Committee (MPAC) with a view to ensuring that every cent siphoned off from the municipality is recovered from the implicated officials,” said Maila.
The DA said in some cases, contracts were awarded without being adjudicated and that in other instances, contracts were awarded to bidders other than those recommended by the bid evaluation committee, without ratification by the accounting officer, as required by Regulation 29 (5)(b) of SCMR, 2005.
Maila added that according to the Auditor General’s report, the district municipality overspent its annual budget for the 2018/2019 financial year by a staggering R194 million.
“The municipality has been plagued by unbridled corruption and crippling maladministration for far too long. The DA urges the Acting Municipal Manager to prioritise these internal investigations and hold officials accountable for the irregular and unauthorized expenditure. We will further demand that criminal charges be laid against implicated officials in keeping with the dictates of Section 32 of the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA), 2003,” said Maila.
Moloko Moloto, SDM Communications Manager, said council had resolved that disciplinary action be taken against all officials implicated. Moloto said already, the accounting officer had been told to recover the half a million incurred in fruitless and wasteful expenditure from the responsible officials because that was money that could’ve been saved, had reasonable care been taken.
Moloto added that the accounting officer had also developed an audit action plan, through which they would ensure all issues raised by the AG would be addressed and not be repeated. “He also has to put internal controls in place, so we can return to the unqualified audit opinions we’ve been receiving for the past five years consecutively,” concluded Moloto