Complaints lead to seven suspensions
COMPLAINTS over poor service delivery and allegations of tender rigging have prompted the Dr Beyers Naude Municipality to go after seven senior managers.
They were served with notices of intention to suspend them following a council decision last week.
In a statement, mayor Deon De Vos said they had been bombarded with complaints from residents in Graaff-Reinet and its surrounds about the poor standard of service delivery.
“In my regular mayoral outreaches, I am confronted by unhappy communities who have a lot to say about the unacceptable levels of service delivery.
“The major disappointment is that some of the issues do not require funding and can be easily resolved by a committed and passionate staff complement,” De Vos said.
He said the department identified as the most problematic by residents was the community services directorate.
“Complaints have been received internally and externally from community members on misconduct, poor working relations and non-performance within the directorate, lack of law enforcement, dirty residential areas and poor supervision.
“A general complaint relates to the abuse of municipal vehicles. Officials have been seen shopping and transporting their families in municipal vehicles. “This is an unacceptable situation,” he said. The municipality intends suspending both the director and manager of community services as well as the manager of protection services.
Alleged corrupt practices in the supply chain management department would also be investigated, De Vos said, adding that they had approached the Sarah Baartman District Municipality to investigate two tenders that had been approved by the Dr Beyers Naude Municipality.
“Three officials from the supply chain management unit were placed on compulsory leave for the duration of the investigation.
“The outcome of this investigation has resulted in the municipal manager requesting a forensic investigation by independent investigators to look into irregularities in awarding one of the tenders.
“Council noted the intention to suspend the following officials for the duration of the investigation: manager supply chain and assets, chief clerk supply chain, senior supply chain clerk and the senior ICT officer.”