The executive mayor of the City of Ekurhuleni (CoE) Mzwandile Masina has come out in full support of the investigation by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) into the affairs of the City’s Transport Department which has been authorised by president Cyril Ramaphosa.
This according to the mayor’s media liaison officer Phakamile Mbengashe, who said the presidency issued a statement on September 7, announcing that the president has authorised the investigation of suspected wrongdoing by public servants and persons or entities in the private sector in the awarding of tenders or contracts by the National Department of Water and Sanitation, the City of Ekurhuleni and eThekwini metros among others.
In Ekurhuleni the investigation will focus on two projects, namely the Vosloorus Hospital Transport and the Bluegum View Public Transport facilities in Duduza. The SIU will investigate claims that the procurement of these projects during a period around February 2014 had been unauthorised, irregular or fruitless, and wasteful.
“Such interventions are necessary if there are any suspicions of wrong doing and maladministration in any project. The City of Ekurhuleni welcomes this intervention and commit to fully co-operate with the SIU in this regard,” mayor Masina said. “We are dealing with public funds here and the issue of accountability is not negotiable.”
He also expressed the hope that those with information regarding the two projects under scrutiny, the Vosloorus Hospital Transport and the Bluegum View Public Transport facilities, will come forward in order to assist in the investigation.
“On our part as a city, we look forward to working with the SIU on this matter,” he said, while emphasising that the CoE remains rooted to clean governance and determined to win the battle against fraud and corruption.
The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) has welcomed the investigation and said it will submit all the evidence and information at their disposal to the SIU to assist in the process.
The dire state of affairs at the Department is partly owing to maladministration in procurement procedures. In the most recent session before the Portfolio Committee on Water and Sanitation and the Standing Committee on Appropriations, Departmental officials informed parliament that they will not be able to deliver on promises in this financial year.
“If anything, this evidences the Department’s lack of commitment to turning things around and delivering quality services to South Africans,” Portfolio Manager for Water and Environment, Yamkela Ntola said.
Parallel to the SIU investigation, OUTA has urged the Portfolio Committee on Water and Sanitation and the Standing Committee on Public Accounts to urgently convene the Inquiry into the functioning of DWS to uncover the extent of the rot at the Department and act accordingly.
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