For Immediate Release
City’s Response to a Daily News Article: ‘Call for City Treasurer to Be Fired’
EThekwini Municipality is concerned about the malicious, false accusations directed towards the City’s Deputy City Manager for Finance, Dr Krish Kumar.
The matter refers to the article published in the Daily News dated 4 April on page 4, titled: “Call for city treasurer to be fired” where the following are alleged:
•The article states that the federation is claiming Kumar suppressed small black-owned businesses and deliberately delayed payments to them.
This is categorically denied. Dr Kumar does not approve and sign-off on individual payments. Line departments process the payments which are submitted to the Accounts Payable section for payment. Dr Kumar does not have sight of these payments, neither does he make any decision as to whether a payment should be made and when. For the record, if the payment is in order it is paid within 30 days and within 14 days for small business. There are no delays in all such payments. Furthermore, we have checked and there are currently no outstanding payments for small businesses.
The only deviation from the above is where the payment is not in order in terms of contractual authority, budget provision, etc. Due process has to be followed otherwise such payments would be deemed to be irregular expenditure and the Municipality would have to account to the Auditor-General and there would also be consequence management in respect of any official who approves such payment. Rules and regulations cannot simply be flouted.
The submission of payments in order for payment is the responsibility of line departments, not Dr Kumar.
• The article states that Dr Kumar said this was not the first time the federation had made such a threat.
This is totally incorrect and is denied by Dr Kumar. It is correct, however, that there has never been a formal meeting between Dr Kumar and the federation on this issue.
Dr Kumar fully supports radical economic transformation. However, he is not responsible for the rollout and implementation of this strategy. It is the responsibility of Line departments and their Heads. This initiative was the brainchild of the Mayor, Zandile Gumede, and is indeed a noble agenda. It was a collective initiative in terms of developing an implementation plan and now developing a reporting mechanism to celebrate the successes of radical economic transformation which has been significant, as acknowledged in the article.
It must also be placed on record that when questioned by the reporter, Dr Kumar was under the impression created by the reporter, that he was doing a positive article on the benefits and successes of radical economic transformation in the City. This obviously was not the case. Hence, the comments are also taken out of context. The issue of payments was not raised, however, if there are any outstanding payments, please let us have the specifics.
Dr Kumar is highly regarded and last year won Chief Financial Officer of the Year in the Public Sector for, among other reasons, being a champion against fraud and corruption and promoting clean governance, and protect Council funds and ensure compliance and value for money in the delivery of goods and services. This is the legislative role that is required of a CFO in terms of the Municipal Finance Management Act.
Issued by the eThekwini Municipality Communications Unit.
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