Mayor of Ekurhuleni Mzwandile Masina. Picture: Themba Hadebe/AP/African News Agency (ANA)
The mayor of Ekurhuleni Mzwandile Masina has acknowledged he is co-operating with the Gauteng government in its probe into alleged mismanagement of a R1.9billion toilet tender.

Yesterday, reports emerged that the three-year tender to supply portable chemical toilets to the city’s informal settlements has come into question, including the appointment of shoddy contractors.

Lebogang Maile, MEC for human settlements and co-operative governance, said he had written a formal letter to Masina seeking a detailed response to these allegations within seven days.

Detailing the reasons for the formal letter, Maile said he had used section 106 of the Municipal Systems Act, which empowered the MEC to designate a person or persons to conduct an investigation if the MEC has reason to believe that maladministration, fraud, corruption or any other serious malpractice has occurred in a municipality in the province.

“If indeed these allegations are true, there needs to be corresponding consequences,” Maile warned.

“Government funds cannot by any means be misappropriated nor used as ‘get-rich-quick schemes’ for cronies, and dubious business people,” the MEC pointed out.

Masina said he welcomed the probe initiated by the provincial government, and that the city would be providing assistance.

“Yes, he (Maile) has contacted me regarding the formal letter. We are giving him a report on the toilet tender What we are doing to subsequently improve the conditions of service,” Masina said.

He added that it was the MEC’s job to hold the city accountable.

In a statement, the City of Ekurhuleni said: “In line with previous statements to this effect, the executive mayor has once again reiterated his commitment to fighting corruption and maladministration in the city.”

“Reports regarding poor workmanship in the delivery of chemical toilets throughout the city will be further investigated through the relevant oversight committees, and random visits will be made to communities through the Siyaqhuba Accelerated Service Delivery Programme.”