R20m tender irregularities in Blouberg

Call for probe at Blouberg Municipality

MOKGADI RABOSHAKGA

BLOUBERG municipality in Limpopo has been fingered in irregular tender allocations to the tune of R20 million.

Democratic Alliance caucus leader Minkie Tjumana has accused the municipality of awarding ten tenders to various service providers without complying with Section 32 of the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA).

“This Act indicates that the accounting officer is allowed to procure goods or services for the municipality under a contract secured by another organ of the state (government department or municipality), but only if the contracts were secured by means of a competitive bidding process applicable to that organ of state,” she said.

According to Tjumana, the Municipal Public Accounts Committee (MPAC) recommended that officials responsible for awarding these tenders be investigated.

“The report states that Machaneng Contracts misled the municipality by submitting false documentation when rendering the service and the committee has recommended that the company should be penalized for rendering any kind of services in the municipality. The committee also recommended that officials responsible for awarding these tenders be investigated and these service providers not to be awarded any business opportunity with the municipality until investigations are completed,” she added.

She added that some of the tenders were awarded without being advertised to invite service providers to submit their proposals.

“The municipality has awarded a R5 million tender to Rekhuditse Construction and Cleaning for stormwater and internal streets in Indermark Village. Another R5 million tender was awarded to Bagaphala Projects Trading for stormwater and internal streets in Avon. Both tenders were awarded without following the correct procedures,” said Tjumana.

Municipal spokesperson Peter Moruthane admitted that the municipality awarded some of the tenders without advertising them. He, however, said that Section 32 of the MFMA allows for that to happen.

“The allegations are based on investigations that are currently taking place. Those investigations were initiated by the municipality after realising that they were irregularities which occurred in the previous financial year. The allegations are not true, we did not misuse the R20 million it was used for service delivery. The only challenge faced was the irregularities in the processes which were followed when awarding the tenders. The Municipal Public Finance ct, regulation 32 allows us to go to a sister municipality and identify a service provider who has been appointed following the right procedures,” he said.

Moruthane told African Times that the municipality has taken action against individuals who were involved in the irregular tender appointments. “Two directors have been suspended (The Director of Technical Services and of Corporate Services), due to the irregular process. The auditor general revealed there were irregularities in the process of appointing. We are however satisfied with the work done by the service providers,” he said.

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