Ekurhuleni 'spent' R1,9bn on toilet tender

Mzwandile Masina
Mzwandile Masina

Gauteng MEC for human settlements Lebogang Maile has demanded answers from Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina, following a report on a R1,9bn toilet tender which allegedly enriched contractors.

An investigation by AmaBhungane published in the Daily Maverick, revealed that the City of Ekurhuleni allegedly spent a staggering R1,9bn on chemical toilets over three financial years - from 2017 to 2019.

The tender was meant to replace the bucket system. The investigation showed that the tender had serious lack of municipal oversight that saw some companies allegedly taking advantage of contract loopholes at the expense of the poor.

The toilets were apparently sourced from 16 small suppliers, and the tender was allegedly used as a get rich-quick scheme for some under-performing contractors that left many beneficiaries with dirty and broken toilets.

Maile's office said a formal letter was sent yesterday morning to Masina to get a detailed response on the allegation reflected in the AmaBhungane report.

Maile said the Ekurhuleni mayor has to respond to the letter within seven days, as he viewed the allegations contained in the article as grievous.

"If indeed, these allegations are true, there needs to be corresponding consequences. Government funds should not by any means be misappropriated nor used as 'get-rich-quick scheme' for cronies, and dubious business people," he said.

Lebogang Maile
Lebogang Maile

At the start of the project in 2016, the municipality provided 16,098 toilets and increased the number the following year to 30,795. For the 2018/2019 financial year, the city provided 39,112 chemical toilets, the report said.

The city said spending on these toilets increased from R379m in 2016/2017 to R828m in 2017/2018 and R758m in 2018/2019. Maile is also expected to meet all municipalities across Gauteng to look into problems identified by the auditor-general Kimi Makwetu in his 2017/2018 financial year report.

In the report, South African municipalities recorded irregular expenditure, amounting to R25,2bn and only 18 of the 257 municipalities received clean audits. DA-led Midvaal was the only municipality in Gauteng with a clean audit.

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