The company that won a tender to produce millions of orange recycling bags for eThekwini Municipality was incapable of producing the product, had underquoted and regularly missed its deadlines, an investigation has found.
Durban - Walking the talk: this is how Durban North resident Narendh Ganesh described the reason behind opening a case into the R96 million tender scandal that exposed alleged corruption within the eThekwini Municipality.

The eThekwini councillor has opened a case for the matter to be investigated.

The Daily News’s sister newspaper, The Mercury, reported earlier this year that a tender for orange bags was awarded to Persian Star Investments 11 CC which allegedly did not have the capacity to carry it out.

Municipal employees were also implicated in the scandal and municipal manager ­Sipho Nzuza said they were suspended.

Orange bags were introduced to promote recycling.

The municipality had hoped the initiative would reduce waste at landfills and would separate waste at the source.

Ganesh said he had been told by a contractor who works with Durban Solid Waste (DSW) that there were irregularities at DSW.

He discussed the matter with the executives of Minorities of South Africa, a political party he is a member of. Their legal team said a charge could be laid, he added.

The decision to open a case was influenced by a brief survey they took in the community on the matter.

“People are livid and are paying for services that are not being delivered. For ratepayers and the public, this is unacceptable,” Ganesh said.

“Corruption is like a tree. It can only grow if you do not nip it in the bud,” he said.

Another major reason for opening the case, he said, was because the bigger political parties in the city were not doing anything about it.

“Ratepayers were being prejudiced by what was happening.”

He said all they wanted was for there to be clean governance and administration.

Ganesh said they planned to do regular checks on the progress of the investigation, which was handed over to the police’s commercial crimes unit and then taken over by the Hawks.

He said the case had been taxing on him and had led to him spending less time on other community matters.

Colonel Thembeka Mbhele, police spokesperson, confirmed that a case had been opened and that no arrests had been made yet.

The municipality commissioned a report into the matter, which was done by NMK Holdings.

The report found that certain officials in the municipality were in dereliction of their duties.

It also recommended disciplinary action against the members.

Mandla Nsele, the municipality’s acting head of communications, said the matter had been handed over to their legal services department for the implementation of the findings and recommendations.

“This, therefore, becomes a private matter between the employers and the employees mentioned in the report.

“The city does not discuss internal matters with a third party as these are confidential,” he said.

Labour-related issues were addressed directly with those involved, Nsele said.

Daily News