SEKHUKHUNE – The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Sekhukhune is calling for Limpopo MEC for Cooperate Governance, Basikopo Makamu, to institute an investigation into municipal officials and councilors doing business with municipalities and blacklist their companies with immediate effect.

The DA said it could confirm that several officials and councilors in Sekhukhune District Municipality (SDM) and Fetakgomo-Tubatse Local Municipality (FTLM) handed out contracts to themselves and their cronies and that the Auditor General (AG) recently highlighted that as a concern.

The party said according to Municipal Accounts Committee’s (MPAC) oversight report in the district municipality for the 2018/2019 financial year over R194 million of unauthorized expenditure was incurred while there was R513 million fruitless and wasteful expenditure as well as R74 million irregular expenditure, all that due to severe mismanagement.

The DA alleged that in FTLM, numerous officials including an ANC councillor were awarded contracts by the local municipality and that those contracts were awarded to companies that an employee of the municipality was a member or a director.

“The total amount of these dodgy contracts that clearly do not adhere to Supply Chain Management (SCM) regulations, is over R650 000. Specifically, a contract to the value of R355 172 was awarded to a company in which a councillor is a director,” said Isaac Makofane, DA SDM councillor.

Mokofane said the DA could confirm that in addition to those, nine officials from different government departments and entities were also awarded tenders to the value of over R8 million.

“It is clear that this practice is an abuse of power by officials and politicians who continue to loot the public coffers to enrich themselves and thus severely compromise the integrity of their office. This raises concerns about measures that are in place to ensure that government tenders are awarded through a transparent process and that corruption is eradicated.

He concluded that the party urged MEC Makamu to suspend those officials pending investigations and refer the implicated councilors to the Ethics Committee for disciplinary actions.

Moloko Moloto, SDM Communications Manager, said council had noted findings of the Auditor General and that a management action plan, which included consequence management, had been developed by the acting municipal manager to address the findings.

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