Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba File picture: Nokuthula Mbatha/ANA Pictures

JOHANNESBURG -  The department of development planning has on Wednesday suspended three officials pending further investigation for refusing to cooperate with the City’s Group Risk and Assurance Services (GRAS) as part of the audits being conducted following the storms which ravaged parts of the City on December 30, Johannesburg Mayor, Herman Mashaba said,

“I committed to launch an investigation through which we would determine whether construction at the worst affected homes was up to the appropriate standard,” Mashaba said.

Mashaba said GRAS was mandated to audit all processes followed for the construction of new houses; and the department of development planning building development management unit were one of the departments being audited as part of this process.

"Unfortunately, a few seemingly corrupt officials from the Department in Region D were refusing to provide the necessary files with information about damaged houses to the auditors. They were subsequently suspended," he said.

"The preliminary report as part of the ongoing investigation indicates that irregular building approvals, missing files for various developments, a complete breakdown of governance processes and maladministration took place while the suspended officials were in office."

Mashaba said that he was assured that the department was reviewing standard operation procedures for building development management (BDM); filing within regions; and strengthening controls for greater accountability and transparency.

“As we near the conclusion of this investigation, I would like to thank the residents of those affected communities for their support and continued patience in this matter,” said Mashaba.

Mashaba assured residents that they were taking the matter seriously and that there was appropriate consequence management for those implicated by the final report.

African News Agency/ANA