Stellenbosch council gets fraud hotline
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.