Mayor gets tough on graft

Sakhile Mokoena

The executive mayor of Bushbuckridge, Milton Morema, has reshuffled his council amid reports of poor work performance and bribery on the issuing of tenders.

Morema said the aim of the reshuffling was to speed up service delivery in the Mpumalanga municipality and also fight corruption.

"I have been looking at the competency of the members and realised that some departments were not moving with speed in terms of service delivery and we decided to move members to positions where we hope they would be competent," he said.

The reshuffling of the five-member mayoral committee has led to the controversial and influential Thulani Moripe losing control of the municipality's infrastructure and technical services directorate.

Moripe is alleged to have taken bribes from service providers who apply for tenders in the municipality, in return for favours when awarding tenders.

But Morema said the reshuffling was not based on the alleged corruption, but promised to investigate if people could bring evidence.

He has also promised to launch an anti-corruption toll-free line where the public can report corrupt councilors and officials.

"If there is concrete evidence of bribery or any kind of corruption, I will not hesitate to expel members involved in such," he said.

Councillors were politicians and not allowed to interfere with the tendering process.