ActionSA Writes to CIIU to Investigate Puzzling R1.37M Payment to Service Provider Prior to Completion of Work

ActionSA has written to the Head of City Integrity & Investigation Unit (CIIU) Mr Thulani Ntombela to investigate the findings of an audit report by the eThekwini Metro, revealing shocking findings about the municipality’s handling of a community hall repair project following storm damages.

What’s even more alarming is the fact that the municipality made payments to the service provider before any work had commenced.

According to the audit report, the eThekwini Metro paid a service provider a staggering R1.37 million for the repair work on the community hall. However, despite receiving payment, the service provider failed to commence with the necessary repairs.

Invoices were issued twice, with the first payment of R683,970.93 made on the 11th of April, 2023, supposedly for construction to commence on the 10th of April, 2023.

Another payment of R689,935.31 was made on the 9th of May, 2023, for construction meant to have commenced on the 6th of May, 2023.

This reckless practice of paying service providers upfront without ensuring the completion of work is both careless and irresponsible.

Instead of prioritising essential services and infrastructure repairs, the municipality’s actions have only worsened the challenges faced by its residents.

It is worth noting that eThekwini Metro received funding of over R1.5 billion from the National Treasury for infrastructure repairs, following the April 2021 floods, which devastated the Metro, and a portion of these funds was allocated for repairing water and sewerage infrastructure.

Nevertheless, no repairs have been made in this regard, raising concerns that the R1.5 billion which would have brought much needed relief for eThekwini residents may have met the same fate as that of the funds allocated for hall repairs.

Regrettably, we can only  blame City Mayor, Mxolisi Kaunda for this, as he was the one who gave strict instructions that councillors should be blocked from performing their core mandate, which is to play oversight.

We conducted oversight visits in the eThekwini Metro last week, visiting several reservoirs to assess water infrastructure and why the people of the Municipality have been without water for the past few months without a way forward. However, the Municipality gave instructions to block our entry and prevent us from assessing the situation at these crucial sites.

Blocking councillors from performing oversight indicates Kaunda’s efforts to conceal critical issues and corruption from the public.

As ActionSA, we will not stand by and watch the destruction of our City unfold before us. We will conduct oversight visits at the halls in question to assess the situation ourselves at these sites.