Barely a year after the DA took over leadership in Johannesburg mayoral city, the party through the leadership of Herman Mashaba, has been able to successfully uncover millions of tax payers’ monies lost to fraud and corruption.
According to a report submitted to the mayor, the city’s anti-corruption unit were able to uncover a number of corrupt and fraudulent activities activities worth R7.5 million in the city’s Joburg Market.
The monies were uncovered from three officials at the market, alongside their suppliers who defrauded the city by misrepresenting the completeness of services rendered by some suppliers, causing substantial financial loss to the city.
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In one of the cases, the cost of the misrepresentation amounted to R1.86 million while in another, the Joburg Market overpaid a supplier by R5 million. The supplier in question had business interests with employees of the market.
“The City has opened a case of fraud‚ theft and corruption against all implicated officials and suppliers with the Hawks. The arrest of all those implicated is imminent‚” said Mayor Herman Mashaba who pointed out that the uncovered fraud was the latest in the city’s string of findings by the new executives, who took over from ANC officials after the August 2016 municipal elections.
Officials named in the report will also face the City’s internal disciplinary proceedings. The three implicated officials have been suspended pending the outcome of all investigations.
“Despite the commendable work done by most of the City’s civil servants, acts of corruption perpetrated by a few diminishes all our combined efforts to deliver the kinds of services that the residents of this City deserve.”
This report came after the mayor’s 100 days in office speech where he reiterated his commitment towards unraveling all traces of corruption hidden in the city.
Following his strong stand to clean up the city, the mayor launched an anti-corruption fight on over a hundred officials of the city’s past administration who according to reports, were involved in fraudulent behavior, which has cost the city millions of rands.
In January 2017, Mashaba said his administration has identified 972 transactions that took place in the City of Johannesburg between January 2008 and February 2016, under the ANC government, relating to fraudulent licensing.
The 972 transactions were equivalent to R14.7 million reportedly lost through corruption, which could have been better spent on service delivery.
In February, the mayor announced his decision to shut down the [email protected] programme, which according to him, was a gateway for politically connected individuals to score contracts at the expense of the communities it was meant to uplift.
The mayor explained that each [email protected] project was outsourced to a middleman, known as a Capacity Support Agent (CSA), “which effectively became a patronage network for the previous governing party. These CSA’s became rich overnight while many in our communities remained without work opportunities”.
In a statement dated March 6, the mayor implored all honest and dedicated City employees to come together to his administration to root out corruption so the city residents would possess a truly competent and professional civil service.
“I am serious about ensuring this administration delivers the kind of clean governance the residents of Johannesburg have demanded. Our recent adjustment budget and efforts of General Sibiya’s office reflects this.”
To those who would pursue a career of crime and corruption within the City, I say, the days of past administrations turning a blind eye to your blatant looting are over. We will expose you and you will face the full might of the law, Mashaba stated.