R26 million SDM COVID-19 intervention projects saga gains momentum

SEKHUKHUNE – Following Sekhukhune District Municipality (SDM)’s irregular awarding of several companies appointment letters for COVID-19 emergency relief projects, the Polokwane High Court has granted the district municipality an interim order, setting aside the appointment letters for the affected companies, according to SDM.

The SDM revealed that in addition, internally, all the affected officials on the matter had been served with letters to make their own representations.

In June this year, the district municipality irregularly awarded eight companies, from its data base, appointment letters, for worth R26 million COVID-19 emergency relief projects, that it since halted processes of due to alleged non-compliance with supply chain management policies.

Against that background, Stanley Ramaila, SDM Executive Mayor, appointed a committee to investigate the alleged malpractice and also referred the matter for judicial review.

SDM said to this end, the High Court has granted the district municipality an interim order , setting aside the appointment letters for the affected companies, an in addition, all the affected officials had been served with letters to make their own representations internally.

Ramaila said what that simply meant was that the court had granted the district municipality the relief on the basis of self-assessment towards good governance.

The Executive Mayor indicated that the people of Sekhukhune ought to understand that nobody had taken the district municipality to court rather, it was the district municipality which suspected non-compliance with due financial processes and went to court for confirmation of the municipality’s suspicion.

Ramaila said: “This for us is a victory towards a fight against fraud, corruption and maladministration. And it confirms my oath during my inauguration in August 2016, when I vowed to decisively deal with the negative image of our district municipality.

If need be, we can confirm that disciplinary action will be taken against all employees who might be found wanting.

At the same time, we are doing everything in our power to ensure that these much needed COVID-19 intervention projects get implemented on time for the benefit of our communities, however, within the confines of proper financial protocols.”

Seun Mogotji, Bolsheviks Party of South Africa leader, said to see to it that the matter was dealt with accordingly, officials who were implicated ought to be investigated and that the companies that colluded with those officials had to be blacklisted by the district municipality.

“And they should have their previous services to the municipality investigated to ensure that they were not awarded contracts irregularly,” said Mogotji.  

Thapelo Motseo

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