'Reveal Manase report contents or we will'

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Durban - The DA has threatened to reveal the contents of the Manase forensic audit report into fraud and corruption in eThekwini if the report is not made available by January 31.

DA councillor Tex Collins warned municipal manager S’bu Sithole at Tuesday’s exco meeting: “I don’t make threats, I make promises.”

The municipality has been sitting on the findings of the Manase report since the first quarter of last year. So far it has only released a summary of the findings and not the full report.

Sithole told Collins that the report would be discussed at next week’s exco meeting.

Collins said next week’s discussions would determine how the DA would go about ensuring that the public finally got to know what the report contained.

At Tuesdays meeting Sithole called for a policy review to ensure that when contracts were awarded they were completed properly and within the specified time.

The city’s exco approved the use of Section 36 contracts to speed up the completion of construction work in two instances where the contractors had messed up the jobs they had tendered for and had failed to complete them on time.

The approval of Section 36 means that instead of putting the work out to tender the council would solicit quotes from contractors to finish the jobs.

The first relates to the Ndlomane Crescent upgrade in eFolweni which was awarded for R2.28 million in December 2011 and which will now cost an additional R2.4m to complete.

A report states that the contractor left the site largely inaccessible, in an unsafe condition and with incomplete manholes.

Recent heavy rains had worsened the situation, resulting in the incomplete road being extensively damaged. The report from the engineering unit states that the job must be urgently completed to prevent further damage to surrounding properties.

DA councillor Ronnie Veeran questioned why the city had to find money again for a failed job.

 

Minority Front councillor Patrick Pillay said the city needed to “step up monitoring mechanisms”.

The other job, the Makiligi Circle upgrade at KwaMakutha, was awarded for R1.2m in February 2012 and was scheduled for completion in June.

After several delays a revised completion date was set for October.

The failure to comply with building norms and standards led to the collapse of a private boundary wall, and the road was still inaccessible to private vehicles.

The report estimated that it would take another R975 000 to complete the job.

ANC councillor Nigel Gumede said the new contractors would have to fix the old jobs and complete the projects, which was why the costs were so high.

The Mercury


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