A group of African National Congress (ANC) councillors and the civic organization South African National Civic Organization (SANCO) in the JB Marks municipality in Potchefstroom have opened a case of fraud and corruption against the municipal manager and some senior officials.
This after allegations that the municipality submitted contradictory reports on COVID-19 budget allocated to the municipality to the provincial treasury.
Chairperson of Sanco in the JB Marks Municipality Kgotso Sehurutshe, says they have opened the case as they believe there could be some tender fraud on COVID-19 procurements.
Sehurutshe says, “We came here to open a case of fraud and corruption against the MM [municipal manager] of the municipality and the CFO for COVID-19 expenditure which is unauthorized. We want accountability, we are tired of corruption that is happening here. As members of the ANC, we are very concerned because the leadership of the ANC is very quiet pertaining to this maladministration and corruption that is happening in this municipality.”
Police spokesperson Colonel Adele Myburgh confirmed that a case has been registered at the Potchefstroom police station.
Myburgh says, “I can confirm that the case of corruption has been opened in Potchefstroom police station and it will be investigated.”
In his response the municipal manager Lebo Ralekgetho says they welcomed the move and will cooperate with the police.
Meanwhile, a group of municipal workers from the Infrastructure Department in the JB Marks Local Municipality have downed tools.
The workers are protesting against the non-payment of overtime. They say they have also not been provided with personal protective equipment.
Disgruntled municipal workers braved the cold, demanding to be provided with personal protective equipment and the payment of their outstanding over-time.
Workers say they have not been paid what is due to them in almost six months, they say their efforts to engage management on the matter have not been successful.
Workers representative Mzwandile Faku says, “Our problem is that we are not getting paid our salaries. So we are getting paid half of our salaries instead of being paid the whole salary every month. It’s winter, we are under COVID-19 now, we have to buy food for our children and we do not have money to do that.”
The municipality says some employees have been abusing the overtime system, and now payment of overtime has been capped at 60 hours a month.
JB Marks municipal manager Lebo Ralekgetho says, “That is why some employees are earning R10 some R100 because they have over committed themselves. We have realised that there is a problem these employees need to be taken through some counselling because they have over committed themselves. But it is unfortunate that as the municipality we cannot fund their lavish lifestyle.”