Biggest Fashion Sale Of The Year! Shop 12 000 Up To 70% OFF!
Durban - eThekwini officials who were using Section 36 regulations to appoint contractors or buy goods without following a tender process were doing so because of poor planning or to benefit friends or family.
This was the word from the municipal public accounts committee, which called yesterday for these officials to be dealt with accordingly.
The committee was being briefed by the city’s Treasury department, which presented its report on irregular expenditure.
Although the city had reduced irregular expenditure from R782.5 million to R324.9m in the past financial year, members of the committee were unhappy.
Sandile Mnguni, of the Treasury, said that since the start of this financial year the city had incurred at least R6m in irregular expenditure.
He said the Treasury had been asking all departments for monthly reports of their irregular expenditure so it could monitor this.
Committee chairman Sipho Kaunda said that certain departments continued to use Section 36 of the city’s supply chain management policy to award contracts. This was unacceptable.
“These officials are not competent enough to do their jobs. They just need to advertise on time,” he said.
Kaunda said if the city did not take action against officials who continued to do this, it would sit with the same problem in years to come.
National Freedom Party councillor Shaik Emam said departments who continued to abuse Section 36 needed to be investigated.
“Irregular expenditure should be minimised or it will continue for a long time,” he said.
Emam said officials had a “don’t worry” attitude because they knew that the Treasury would regularise their irregular expenditure.
“It is time that we set an example with these officials. Let’s bring them to book. They must not be protected by heads of department,” he said.
Nompumelelo Chamane, the committee’s deputy chairwoman, said the incurring of irregular expenditure was treated by some officials as “business as usual”, possibly because they were doing it to benefit friends or relatives.
“It is not an accident, it is planned. We must see heads roll. If we don’t sort this out in this quarter we may as well disband as a committee,” she said.
ANC councillor Pearl Luthuli said someone needed to take responsibility. All this irregular expenditure was the result of poor planning.
“These officials are employed to do a certain job and as officials they need to foresee problems. We do no longer understand this. We have been understanding for too long.”