Stel­len­bosch coun­cil gets fraud hot­line

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - WARDA MEYER

THE EM­BAT­TLED Stel­len­bosch mu­nic­i­pal­ity has launched a 24-hour anti-fraud hot­line to fight cor­rup­tion in the lo­cal govern­ment au­thor­ity.

The mu­nic­i­pal­ity was em­broiled in tur­moil in 2009 af­ter an East­ern Cape busi­ness­man al­leged wide­spread cor­rup­tion in­volv­ing se­nior mu­nic­i­pal of­fi­cials.

In May last year the Hawks swooped on five former of­fi­cials, ar­rest­ing them on charges of fraud re­lat­ing to mu­nic­i­pal ten­der pro­cesses.

Now the Stel­len­bosch mu­nic­i­pal­ity has launched a ded­i­cated, in­de­pen­dently man­aged fraud line as part of a com­mit­ment to fight­ing fraud at all lev­els.

Mayor Con­rad Sidego said ratepay­ers and staff could lodge com­plaints of fraud anony­mously, know­ing that the mat­ter would be ad­dressed by se­nior man­age­ment and the independent Mu­nic­i­pal Au­dit Com­mit­tee.

“The fraud line fil­ters calls and if it’s found that a mem­ber of the top man­age­ment is im­pli­cated in the fraud, then the re­port is routed to the mem­bers not im­pli­cated by the al­le­ga­tions.”

Sidego said in­tro­duc­ing the hot­line rep­re­sented a mile­stone for a mu­nic­i­pal­ity which had en­coun­tered cor­rup­tion and mal­ad­min­is­tra­tion, but it is sad that they had to re­sort to the mea­sure.

Mu­nic­i­pal man­ager David Daniels said staff would be key in reporting ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties.

The mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s chief au­dit ex­ec­u­tive, Faiz Hoo­sain, said the hot­line will be in­de­pen­dently man­aged by Deloitte South Africa.

Calls will be pro­cessed in Afrikaans, English and Xhosa.

Reporting may be done by tele­phone to 0800 111 027, while e-mail, fax and sms fa­cil­i­ties will also be avail­able at no cost to the whistleblower.

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