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Service delivery forum questions ’middle of the night’ payments

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The Phokwane Service Delivery Forum has questioned payments that were apparently made ’in the middle of the night’ to service providers.

Picture: Supplied

THE PHOKWANE Service Delivery Forum (PSDF) has questioned payments that were apparently made “in the middle of the night” to service providers.

PSDF councillor Castro Sethlogomi said he had requested Phokwane Municipality to provide a report on how many roofs were replaced in Pampierstad following storm damage in 2020 and 2021.

“A contractor from the Free State was appointed to repair the roofs, where R120 000 was paid to them to fix a four-bedroomed house. It was used as an electioneering campaign as only houses in Ward 4 in Pampierstad were repaired,” said Sethlogomi.

“We want a criminal investigation into a R9 million payment to this company to fix a few roofs as well as a R1.7 million payment that was made late at night on May 13 without a council resolution.”

He added that a moratorium had been placed on any tenders exceeding R20,000.

“The PSDF also wants clarity on a contractor that was paid for a sewage project and the scope of work done.

“It appears as if service delivery projects are being used as a front to pay kickbacks or to loot the municipality.”

Sethlogomi accused the acting chief financial officer (CFO) of acting illegally as her contract that ended last year was never extended.

“She is still attending tender meetings as the CFO.

“The forum has also objected to the secondment of the acting municipal manager, Busiswe Mgaguli, who has done nothing to prevent corruption from taking place at the municipality. We are obtaining legal advice on these secondments.”

Sethlogomomi added that none of the opposition parties were interested in forming coalitions with the ANC.

“The ANC is no longer the majority party at Phokwane Municipality … communities have suffered for the past 28 years under their rule. We cannot have nine ANC councillors dictating to council.”

Phokwane Municipality spokesperson Kgalalelo Letshabo said council appointed Mgaguli as the acting municipal manager until the vacancy has been permanently filled.

“The municipality never made a payment of R1.7 million on May 13 late at night as alleged. There are security measures in place with the bank; the municipality can only make payments during working hours and working days. The cut-off time for payments is 4.30pm,” said Letshabo.

She denied that payment was made for work that was never carried out,

“The payment was for site establishment, site clearance, excavation, bedding using imported material, compaction, installation of 315-millimetre sewage pipes, blanket using imported material, backfilling and controlling of the underground water – these are some of the work that was carried out.”

Letshabo said that a total of 101 houses were fixed by the municipality.

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