ETHEKWINI NEWS FLASH

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

4 November 2015

City Cooperating With Public Protector Investigation

EThekwini Municipality is willing to fully cooperate with the office of the Public Protector on all issues pertaining to an investigation into the awarding of Section 36 contracts by the City.

To determine whether a preliminary investigation would be conducted or not, a meeting was held between City officials including City Manager Sibusiso Sithole, a manager from his office and an official from the City’s Legal Unit as well as an Advocate and Senior Investigator from the Durban Public Protector’s office.

At the meeting, Sithole requested that the representatives from the Public Protector’s office be more specific about the Section 36 contracts under investigation so that the information would be made available to them.

“There has been no further communication from the Public Protector’s office on this issue. We indicated during the meeting that this matter cannot be a fishing expedition. We are willing to give them reports with the information they require,” said Sithole. 

Sithole said monthly reports were compiled by the City on all tenders awarded including Section 36 contracts. These reports are tabled at various Municipal Committees, including the Executive Committee and the Municipal Public Accounts Committee.

“The Section 36 reports are easily accessible to all Councillors therefore the City has no reason not to provide the reports to the Public Protector,” said Sithole. 

Although Section 36 is legally permissible, reducing its use has been a priority in the Municipality and great strides have been made in this regard.

Rampant fraud and corruption has been identified as one of the significant risks threatening the sustainability of public resources. 

Legislation provides guidelines for all role-players in the management of the public purse which includes political oversight, internal audit, risk management and performance management.

In the current Integrated Development Plan implementation, the Municipality has deliberately focused on steering the organisation on a path of compliance which has undoubtedly set the necessary foundation for sustainable service delivery. 

In the 2013/14 financial year, the use of Section 36 of the supply-chain management policy was reduced by R263 177 519.53 from R1 897 435 909.14 in the 2012/2013 financial year to R1 634 258 389.61 in the 2013/2014 financial year. 

“We respect the office of the Public Protector and the work they do. Their mandate is to root out fraud and corruption which the City also strives to achieve. We reiterate that we are willing to work with them,” Sithole added.

ENDS 

Issued by eThekwini Municipality’s Communications Head, Tozi Mthethwa.

For more information members of the media can contact Gugu Sisilana on 031 311 4855 or email: gugu.mbonambi@durban.gov.za or Princess Nkabane on 031 311 4818 or princess.nkabane@durban.gov.za 

Please read this confidentiality disclaimer: Edisclaimer​