City faces ir­reg­u­lar­ity claims

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - NEWS - BULELWA PAYI

THE Pub­lic Pro­tec­tor’s Of­fice has re­ceived com­plaints of mal­ad­min­is­tra­tion, and waste­ful, fruit­less and ir­reg­u­lar ex­pen­di­ture against the City of Cape Town.

The com­plaints were submitted in Fe­bru­ary.

In a let­ter dated March 2, 2017, the Pub­lic Pro­tec­tor’s of­fice in the Western Cape ac­knowl­edged re­ceipt of the com­plaints and said the mat­ter was re­ceiv­ing at­ten­tion and feed­back would be pro­vided in due course.

The na­tional of­fice could not con­firm de­tails re­gard­ing the mat­ter on Fri­day as it was a pub­lic hol­i­day.

The com­plaints re­ferred to in­cluded:

The ap­point­ment of engi­neer­ing con­sul­tants on a three-year con­tract with­out con­duct­ing an in­ter­nal gap anal­y­sis. To date the con­sult- ants have been paid about R35 mil­lion.

The ap­point­ment of a se­nior man­ager in the wa­ter and San­i­ta­tion Depart­ment. It is al­leged the job spec­i­fi­ca­tions were amended and the in­cum­bent, was ap­pointed with­out meet­ing bench­mark re­quire­ments at a cost of R1.4m per an­num.

The con­sul­tants, Pragma, were ap­pointed to com­pen­sate for the lack of qualification and in­ex­pe­ri­ence of the in­di­vid­ual.

In ad­di­tion, an engi­neer­ing man­ager was also ap­pointed to per­form the func­tions of the man­ager at an ad­di­tional cost of R100 000 per month but this amount would to­tal R4m for the du­ra­tion of the con­tract pe­riod.

The re­port also said the city had an engi­neer­ing and as­set man­age­ment branch that was fully equipped in terms of hu­man and fi­nan­cial re­sources and that some staff mem­bers were qual­i­fied and ex­pe­ri­enced.

It also said since the ap­point­ment of the con­sul­tants the unit had been side­lined and key strate­gic de­ci­sions were now taken by con­sul­tants.

ANC leader in the coun­cil, Xolani So­tashe said the ANC was con­cerned about al­leged “cor­rup­tion” and waste of tax­pay­ers’ money.

May­oral com­mit­tee mem­ber for In­for­mal Set­tle­ments, Waste, Wa­ter and En­ergy Xanthea Lim­berg con­firmed the con­sul­tants had been awarded a three-year con­tract in 2015 and that due process had been fol­lowed.

Lim­berg said the city had ten­dered for work due to not hav­ing the in­ter­nal ca­pac­ity.

She said the con­tract was for as­set man­age­ment ser­vices based on a set of in­di­vid­u­als rates for dif­fer­ent ser­vices “as and when re­quired”.

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