ANC, City of Cape Town at loggerheads over 'underspending'
Cape Town – The ANC in the City has blasted the DA-run administration over irregular expenditure worsening in 2018/19, compared to the previous financial years.
Auditor-General (AG) Kimi Makwetu’s report indicated that the City underspent to the tune of R183.5 million, an amount that was initially earmarked to be spent on two water projects.
ANC leader in the council Xolani Sotashe said the City had underspent by 27.2% between June 2017 to June 2018, which was a worrying factor for the ANC and had a direct, negative impact on service delivery.
Makwetu’s report found in the City that 51% of irregular expenditure was as a result of non-compliance with legislation on contracts and the remainder was due to non-compliance with other procurement process requirements.
The AG report found non-compliance of supply chain management was in connection with traffic contravention services. The total value of the extensions represented 87% of the original contract value.
“The situation has become serious as reports in black and white show that since 2011, the urban settlement development grant received from National Treasury had been returned by the City to the tune of more than R2 billion.
"In the AG report, it says that contracts related to traffic contraventions services were extended three times without following the prescribed process, resulting in irregular expenditure of R65 million,” said Sotashe.
He called on the national government’s intervention, saying the office of the Local Government Department failed to respond to reports of irregular expenditure as its MEC, Anton Bredell, was politically aligned with the City.
Safety and security Mayco member JP Smith said the AG took a different interpretation on the City's supply chain management procedures regarding the traffic contravention tender.
“It was deemed to be ‘irregular' because the contract was more than three years without the permission of National Treasury. We are limited to three years at a time, anything more requires Treasury approval, even though it has SCM approval.”
Smith said all new traffic contravention tenders would be appointed for five years to prevent this new interpretation from causing problems again.
Local Government spokesperson James-Brent Styan said the City had received an unqualified audit outcome, which was a good outcome as 25 out of 30 Western Cape councils received this outcome. He said Bredell encouraged anyone with any evidence of wrongdoing to approach the nearest police station and lodge a complaint.
Mayor Dan Plato said: “The City of Cape Town is also regarded as the best-run metro in the country by numerous independent bodies.
"We get these reports indicating our clean governance because of the strict governance systems and processes that we have in place.
"The ANC are welcome to report anything they deem worth reporting, but should perhaps focus on sorting out their own problems after their provincial leadership was disbanded this past week.”
Meanwhile, ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte and a team of deployed national executive committee members briefed the disbanded Western Cape provincial executive committee (PEC) yesterday.
Duarte reiterated the party’s stance around the dissolution of the provincial PEC and that a provincial interim committee would be formed to implement organisational renewal and rebuilding, as well as take the Western Cape to an elective conference.
The first task of the PEC would be to sort out ANC branches, said Duarte.