Committee to get details on R15m food contract next year
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.