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Durban - The eThekwini Municipality has put its foot down and pronounced that officials found to be benefiting from city tenders will be fired.
Tough action will also be taken against councillors who plead ignorance and continue to conduct business with the municipality.
City manager S’bu Sithole told the executive committee on Tuesday the administration would be much harsher on officials who had previously been disciplined if they were found to still be receiving tenders from the municipality.
“Employees who fail to declare their business interests risk having their employment contracts immediately terminated,” he said.
The municipality is reviewing its policy on how it awards contracts with the aim of stopping the abuse of tender processes and contracts being given to city officials and councillors.
Opposition parties said the move to evaluate the supply-chain management policy was as a result of the revelations in the Manase and Associates forensic report on fraud and corruption.
Sithole said that because of the dynamics in the supply chain management policy it would be reviewed annually.
The policy, which was approved by exco on Tuesday, would be implemented after it had been adopted by the council.
Speaker Logie Naidoo said the council would also be taking decisive action against councillors and would recommend to Co-operative Governance MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube that those who continued to flout the law be removed from the council.
“We can’t be seen to be lenient with councillors. No single councillor should be doing business with the city.”
Naidoo said that those councillors who were elected in May 2011 and were found to be doing business with the municipality were fined a portion of their salary and one was suspended for two months without pay.
“Councillors can’t say they didn’t know,” he said.
Finance and procurement committee chairwoman Fawzia Peer said the effective implementation of supply chain management was one of the key areas contributing to a clean audit.
“Over the past two years there has been a huge focus on supply chain management in municipalities, in particular the R14 billion in irregular expenditure incurred across the country,” she said.
While it could be said that irregular expenditure related to procedural issues, it was an issue of non-compliance. The city needed appropriate SCM systems and skilled staff.