Municipal workers in the Eastern Cape’s OR Tambo District Municipality and the Business Forum are calling on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to intervene and root out alleged fraud and corruption that led to the collapse of service delivery programmes.
Workers want the Executive Mayor, Thokozile Sokhanyile, to step down and all managers accused of defrauding the municipality of millions of rands during door-to-door COVID-19 awareness programmes during Level 5 of the lockdown, to be dismissed.
A multi-million rand water supply project also put the municipality in the spotlight.
OR Tambo Business Forum secretary Ndumiso Ngcebetsha says, “We are here to demand the municipality to suspend all officials that are implicated by the forensic report released in this municipality. Secondly, we are saying that the district based delivery model as it was launched by President Cyril Ramaphosa in this region last year. We are of the view that it can solve a lot of problems that are engulfing this region.”
Meanwhile, workers also want the President to intervene in rooting out fraud and corruption in the district.
Workers’ spokesperson Phendule Mbewu says corruption at the municipality is deeply ingrained.
“The President must intervene in dealing with corruption in this institution because we are aware of the R3.2 billion that was overwritten without being investigated in this municipality, which involves senior officials. We are also saying, the Hawks and Special Investigating Unit (SIU) in the Eastern Cape have been captured by the senior provincial office-bearers. Hence they do not take any action in this institution, where an amount of R800 million was misused in the institution,” explains Mbewu.
The OR Tambo District council believes a call for the intervention of the president is relevant. Council speaker Xolile Nkompela says, “Their call for intervention might be relevant because if we are still having such a situation where projects are not completed and people are paid in advance which is against the law, we will continue having similar changes as we are in a deeper crisis as we speak now”
OR Tambo District Mayor, Thokozile Sokhanyile, says they’ve started a process of engaging with workers on all outstanding matters. But while these engagements continue, ordinary residents who want better services suffer the consequences.
The video below is a report file in August on the OR Tambo District Municipality’s business dealings:
The video below is a report filed in July about the O R Tambo District Municipality facing a number of fraud, corruption allegations:
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