THE South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) has welcome the proclamation signed by President Cyril Ramaphosa on May 25, which has authorised the Special Investigation Unit (SIU) “to investigate several matters at various levels of governance in terms of Section 2(1) of the Special Investigating Units and Special Tribunal Act of 1996”.
The SIU will be investigating among other things, serious irregularities in relation to procurement and the flouting of procurement laws, unlawful and improper conduct by persons which had caused serious harm to the public and more importantly the intentional or negligent loss of public money.
The SIU will, according to proclamation, investigate Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality, King Sabata Dalimdyebo Local Municipality and the municipality which incurred the largest irregular expenditure in the country to the tune of R8.8 billion which is the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality all these municipalities are in the Eastern Cape. The claws of the SIU will also be extended to the Mopani District Municipality in Limpopo.
We believe that this proclamation is a step in the right direction in uncovering the roots of corruption in municipalities which have become cancerous. Our view is that municipalities have for long been left to be breeding grounds for corrupt activities with no consequences for those involved while on the other hand hampering service delivery and disadvantaging citizens.
“We call on the President to also consider an SIU proclamation on all municipalities particularly municipalities which have performed dismally, receiving audit outcomes with disclaimers. We would also want to see more municipalities in Free State Province, North West and Limpopo provinces also being probed as not even a single municipality in these provinces managed to receive a single clean audit.”
According to the recently released Auditor General’s report on municipalities, irregular expenditure has ballooned to R28 billion while fruitless and wasteful expenditure has risen to R1.5 billion.
“We would love to see those who were responsible for wasting rate payers’ money being personally held liable for having have wasted money which may have otherwise being directed to solving issues which South Africans face at Local Government.”