MARBLE HALL – The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Ephraim Mogale Local Municipality says the Auditor General’s (AD) financial report reveals the local municipality has “racked up more than R11 million in irregular expenditure.”
According to the DA the local municipality incurred irregular expenditure of R7 762 542 in the current financial year as a result of contravention of supply chain management legislation. The said further irregular expenditure incurred in the previous years, amounting to R2 898 850, was also identified in the current year.
Conny Lentsoane, EPMLM DA councillor, said what was equally shocking was that 81 percent of the irregular expenditure relating to the previous year was identified during an audit process and not detected by the municipality’s monitoring processes.
Lentsoane said the AG stated that the main causes of the lack of effective prevention and detection were inadequate skills and capacity in the supply chain management unit.
“The DA in Ephraim Mogale Municipality is seeking an urgent meeting with the Mayor, Molaudi Mothogwane, to get clarity regarding the candidates that were hired which clearly are not fulfilling their functions as required. The AG report reveals that the municipality appointed employees who were not recommended for appointment by the panel and this leaves one wondering as to why these individuals were hired,” said Lentsoane.
The councillor said another concern was incessant hiring of external consultants, which cost taxpayers over R4.3 million.
“This money was paid to a consultant to prepare financial statements, which were found to contain misstatements. It is clear that the municipality does not have adequate skills in the finance unit, resulting in dependence on external consultants for financial reporting functions, as confirmed by the AG,” said Lentsoane.
According to Lentsoane it is unacceptable that people within the municipality are being paid to do this job but due to their inability, the municipality has to rely on external companies and that taxpayers have to foot this bill.
“An amount of R12 472 193 was also written off by the municipality as material losses, due to not being able to recover debt. In one instance, a close family members was awarded a tender amounting to R158 235 whilst two tenders amounting to R36 000 were given to two providers in which partners or associates of the municipal officials had an interest, without declaring,” said Lentsoane.
Lentsoane added that to compound the matter, two contracts with the value of R620 985 were procured without inviting competitive , whilst nine quotations to the value of R150 083 were awarded to bidders who did not submit the necessary declarations.
“A contraction contract to the value of R633 724 was also awarded to contractors who were not registered with the Construction Industry Development Board (CIBD),” concluded Lentsoane.
Attempts to get comment from EPMLM were not successful at the time of going to press.