Com­mit­tee to get de­tails on R15m food con­tract next year

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS -

DE­TAILS of Tsh­wane’s con­tro­ver­sial R15m con­tract for take­away food parcels for staff mem­bers work­ing over­time were not avail­able for dis­clo­sure to mem­bers of the mu­nic­i­pal pub­lic ac­counts port­fo­lio com­mit­tee last Fri­day.

The con­tract for the sup­ply, de­liv­ery and of­fload­ing of the take­away food had an­gered com­mit­tee mem­bers.

Op­po­si­tion par­ties ques­tioned how so much money could be spent on food for peo­ple who were paid over­time.

City of Tsh­wane spokesman Selby Bok­aba said it was ex­plained at the meet­ing that nec­es­sary in­for­ma­tion would be re­quested from all rel­e­vant de­part­ments and pre­sented at the next meet­ing in Jan­uary.

“The con­tract was a three­year-pe­riod ten­der and an ‘as and when re­quired’ one.

“There­fore the in­for­ma­tion on to­tal ac­tual ex­pen­di­ture to date, how many peo­ple re­ceived the items and what type of food parcels th­ese were could not be pro­vided by the sup­ply chain man­age­ment depart­ment at that time,” he said.

Bok­aba said the depart­ment ad­min­is­tered the ten­ders, and the in­for­ma­tion re­quired by op­po­si­tion par­ties at the meet­ing had to be sourced from var­i­ous di­vi­sions.

The coun­cil was not in a po­si­tion to pro­vide cer­tain in­for­ma­tion to com­mit­tee mem­bers last Fri­day be­cause ques­tions on the con­tract had not been an­tic­i­pated, he said.

“All in­for­ma­tion and re­lated doc­u­ments will be pre­sented at the next meet­ing.

“We would like to in­vite the op­po­si­tion par­ties to make it known now if there is other in­for­ma­tion not dis­closed ear­lier which they will need to avoid fur­ther sur­prises when the com­mit­tee re­con­venes,” said Bok­aba.

While the DA – later sup­ported by Cope – stated that the R15m was spent in a month, as re­ported by The Star’s sis­ter pa­per, the Pre­to­ria News, the city clar­i­fied that the amount was for three years and not a month.

How­ever, DA coun­cil­lor and mem­ber of the com­mit­tee Bronwynn En­gel­brecht said that if the ten­der was for three years and not for just Au­gust last year as stated in the re­port pro­vided to mem­bers, then the city was in con­tra­ven­tion of the Mu­nic­i­pal Fi­nance Man- age­ment Act by in­cor­rectly re­port­ing on fi­nan­cial state­ments.

But Bok­aba pointed out that tak­ing time to col­late in­for­ma­tion from other de­part­ments could not be de­scribed as a con­tra­ven­tion.

“This was food for our hard­work­ing tech­ni­cians who leave their fam­i­lies at night, brave the rain and cold win­ter, and labour thank­lessly to make sure that the cit­i­zens of Tsh­wane have power in the event of an ou­tage,” he said.

“The em­ployee can­not be ex­pected to take time off to pur­chase food while at­tend­ing to a prob­lem.”

Bok­aba took The Star’s sis­ter pa­per, the Pre­to­ria News to a de­pot in the city cen­tre to prove the ex­is­tence of such parcels, and urged who­ever had doubts to go there and check the stock.

Each pack con­tained a cooldrink, choco­late and chips, among other items. Th­ese were packed in trol­leys.

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