ETHEKWINI NEWS FLASH
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
19 June 2018
 
Executive Committee Decisions
 
EThekwini Municipality Radically Reduces Irregular Expenditure
 
The drastic reduction in irregular expenditure for this financial year was lauded at an Executive Committee meeting today, 19 June.
 
EThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede said she was “very happy” to see irregular expenditure decrease from R513 million in past financial years to R48 million to date.
 
She was speaking after a report outlining irregular expenditure for the 2016/17 and 2017/18 financial years was tabled.
 
Said Mayor Gumede: “We are happy with the drastic reduction of irregular expenditure. This report paints a picture of where we are and where we are going. We believe in transparency and whatever we do, the public must be informed about it.”
 
Mayor Gumede also pointed out that the total amount for irregular expenditure was not wasteful as goods and services had been received.
 
“Work was done, no money went down the drain so to say. The only issue is that due processes were not followed,” she said.
 
The tabled report served to inform the Executive Committee of the non-compliance with Supply Chain Management (SCM) Policy which resulted in irregular expenditure by the Municipality as well as to highlight the process followed in dealing with irregular expenditure and to seek condonation of such expenditure.
 
The report outlined the process followed to approve irregular expenditure. This includes reports being prepared by the departments that incurred irregular expenditure after investigations by the line departments. These reports disclose the deviation from SCM Policy, the reason for the deviation and the value of the expenditure. The reports together with the supporting documents are submitted to Internal Control for review and thereafter submitted to the Bid Adjudication Committee (BAC) as well as the Municipal Public Accounts Committee (MPAC).
 
The BAC prior to noting the irregular expenditure applies its mind to each report and considers the irregularity, whether or not value for money was received, whether corrective action needed to be undertaken, whether preventative measures were required to be implemented and whether the City Manager’s approval was required and makes recommendations to the City Manager in terms of regulation 36(1)(b) of the SCM Regulations. The certification of goods and services and value for money are certified by the respective department heads and Deputy City Managers (DCM’s).
 
All reports are also submitted to Internal Audit and the City Integrity and Investigations Unit for independent investigations to be undertaken. The Auditor General also has sight of the reports.
 
The report stated that irregular expenditure amounting to R50 million (consisting of R1.39 million for the 2016/17 financial year and R48.6 million for the 2017/18 financial year) has been submitted through the BAC in terms of Section 36 (1)(b) of the SCM Policy.
 
The report recommends that subject to approval of Council, a report be submitted to the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, National Treasury and the Office of the Auditor General.
 
The report outlines 13 departments who incurred irregular expenditure for the 2017/18 financial year which amounts to R48 million. Deputy City Manager of Finance Krish Kumar explained the reasons for some of the departments’ irregular expenditure. He stressed that goods and services were received as per certification from the respective heads and DCM’s for all the expenditure incurred.
 
He said in some instances the irregular expenditure was a result of contracts expiring and not being re-advertised timeously.
 
However, to counter this, he said there is now a contract register in place to track contracts to assist them and thus preventing irregular expenditure.
 
“It is not fruitless or wasteful expenditure as goods and services were provided and we are legally obliged to pay. We are very transparent in what we do and we are proud that we are dealing with these issues in terms of due process in terms of the Municipal Finance Management Act,” added Kumar.
 
Deputy Mayor Fawzia Peer said irregular expenditure will come when forward planning is not done but also in cases of emergencies. She said value for money has to be reflected adding that the irregular expenditure has dropped drastically.
 
City Manager Sipho Nzuza said he has introduced tighter and stricter controls to reduce irregular expenditure as well as wasteful expenditure in the Municipality.
 
“We are hoping to reduce it even further. Sometimes things come through that are unplanned I understand, but I have implemented stricter controls regarding expenditure while at the same time balancing delivering services to the people,” he said.
 
CITY EMPOWERS YOUTH
 
EThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede said the City would continue to prioritise the development of youth following a successful Youth Month Rally held at the Moses Mabhida Stadium over the weekend.
 
She was speaking at an Executive Committee meeting today, 19 June.
 
“I would like to thank all the youth, parents, councillors, organisers and officials for staging a successful event. We are also grateful to our speakers from the maritime industry as well as our keynote speaker MEC of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs Sihle Zikalala for his words of wisdom. We also pledge to continue with activities that are aimed at empowering young people from an early child development age because we are a caring City.”
 
Mayor Gumede said the development of young people is not an event but a process undertaken through empowerment programmes.
 
She applauded the work by the Youth Development Office in this regard saying youth constitutes 60 percent of the eThekwini population.
 
“It is important for us to walk alongside young people so they can see first-hand what we are doing for them. We also need to capacitate the younger generation to ensure that they will be part of team Durban and know practically how the City is run.”
 
Mayor Gumede said creative solutions to problems in the City was needed citing a launch taking place on Thursday, 21 June in ward 91 where a platform is being created for young people addicted to whoonga to be rehabilitated.
 
“As leaders in the City we need to do something about the growing number of whoonga boys in the inner city. Too effectively fight crime in the City does not mean we have to arrest them but instead come up with creative solutions. The Safer Cities Unit must run with this initiative. The success of this project can perhaps be rolled out to the whole City,” said Mayor Gumede.
 
She said the volunteers of the initiative have called social workers, a local FET College, the Skills Department from both the City and Province as well as other relevant stakeholders to work with them to positively change these young boys’ lives.
 
“If we do it as a collective, working together as councillors, officials and business, we will get positive results,” she added.
 
REFUSE COLLECTION IN THE CITY
 
EThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede said officials are working hard to keep the City clean and would not be deterred from doing their work.
 
She was speaking at an Executive Committee meeting today, 19 June.
 
She said they received reports from councillors and residents of uMlazi and KwaMashu complaining about disruption to the refuse collection service last week. She said the M4 South had litter strewn across it yesterday, 18 June as well.
 
“This is unacceptable behaviour irrespective of any disagreement. Lawlessness and disruption cannot be tolerated. We encourage discussions and engagements. These disruptions are also not good for our image as the City. We want a solution but in the meantime, we must ensure that uMlazi is clean.”
 
She said there are contractors who want to bring City into disrepute and the City would not allow that.
 
“City Manager, you must act decisively as we want to do business in a clean way. Citizens must not suffer from these disruptions. Let us expose those who think they are letting us down. As the Executive Committee we must get a proper report detailing those responsible.
 
We cannot be held to ransom by one contractor who refuses to comply while other contractors are complying,” said Mayor Gumede.
 
Meanwhile, she said they have started with the Inner City Rejuvenation Programme which includes the Isiphingo Central Business District (CBD).
 
“This programme is aimed at cleaning crime and grime in the Durban and Isiphingo CBD’s.
 
The Inner City Regeneration Programme offers us an exciting and challenging opportunity to regenerate these CBD’s which are economic hubs in the City. This follows an extended period of urban decline which has resulted in crime, grime, congestion, and unregulated trading.
 
Through this plan we are dealing with problem buildings, illegal conversions, over-crowding as well as poorly serviced, maintained and managed public spaces.”
 
She said major clean-ups have already been done with officials tackling illegal trading, illegal businesses, illegal dumping as well as a host of other contraventions.
 
“I am calling on residents, traders, building owners and formal and informal businesses to comply with City by-laws in an effort to ensure that we build a City that is indeed the most caring and liveable in Africa.”
 
Mayor Gumede said a platform for City officials to engage with the provincial government about the maintenance of provincial roads that run through the City was also being established.
 
“We cannot say we will not repair that road because it belongs to province and not us, or refuse to maintain the verges along those same roads. I have said it before and I am saying it again, let us as the City work together with the provincial government. If we maintain the roads and verges they can then pay us for the work done. We need to have this agreement in place,” she added.
 
ENDS
 
Issued by the eThekwini Municipality’s Acting Head of Communications Mandla Nsele.
 
Please read this confidentiality disclaimer: http://www.durban.gov.za/Pages/edisclaimer.aspx