Port Elizabeth – An Eastern Cape forensic probe has unearthed several discrepancies within the Nkwanca local municipality, the province said on Monday.
Local government MEC Mlibo Qoboshiyane found, among other things, that the appointment of the municipality’s manager was not above board.
“The appointment process in respect of the municipal manager, Section 56 managers and acting managers has been found to lack credibility (and) transparency and is blatantly plagued with manipulations of due process,” Qoboshiyane said in a statement.
His probe found that due process was not followed in the purchasing of municipal vehicles, with higher prices being paid than those quoted.
It also concluded that the municipality charged much more than other towns for graves.
Qoboshiyane said a comparison of the 2012/2013 tariffs with the 2013/2014 tariffs showed that cemetery tariffs had increased by an average of 48.73 percent.
“The increased tariffs appear reasonable when compared to other local municipalities, except for the R1000 tariff applicable to an adult grave site (plot and digging) in the towns of Molteno and Sterkstroom.
“The average tariff charged by other local municipalities varied from R550 to R600.”
Qoboshiyane indicated there was some discord with the construction of a road in the municipality and he highlighted the poor management of sewer pumps and the administration of projects.
“The municipality was unable to provide a complete list of all projects undertaken.
“The findings indicate a lack of management oversight, a lack of the prescribed skills, expertise, competencies, qualifications and the contravention of applicable legislation, regulations and policies.”
Service providers were also appointed without a competitive bidding process being followed.
One councillor was found not to have been transparent in hiring people to work for the municipality’s housing settlement projects.
“The lists of unemployed per ward submitted to the investigation team were handwritten and not properly maintained. Further, the lists of unemployed did not indicate whether the person was subsequently selected for a job opportunity on one of the projects,” said Qoboshiyane.
“It appears that a number of job opportunities were given to people who are not registered on the list of unemployed.”
After tabling the report last Thursday, Qoboshiyane said he and his department would resolve the issues and “would stop at nothing in revealing malpractice and poor administration”.
The Nkwanca municipality would now be getting a financial management capacity plan from the provincial government.