DA mayor in Nelson Mandela Bay, Athol Trollip, has frozen a R21 million contract the municipality had with Joburg-based media company, Mohlaleng Media.
According to Trollip, a request has been submitted to the city manager to freeze the contract, after media reports emerged that hundreds of thousands of rands were paid to two ‘media specialists’ over five months at the company.
The media group reportedly worked closely with former NMB mayor, Danny Jordaan, and saw its R10 million ‘cap’ on government spending lifted.
Trollip said that he was disturbed to learn that R21 million had been paid to Mohlaleng, some of which was allegedly used to pay political appointments.
This latest move comes as the DA closes in on irregular expenditure and signs of corruption in the metros it won in the recent local elections.
DA mayor in Tshwane, Solly Msimanga has already taken action in his metro, by cutting off politicians from wasteful luxury items – such as luxury vehicles and using ‘blue light brigades’ to travel.
The latest edition of Noseweek has revealed leaked documents which show an ANC patronage network of over 40,000 suppliers deemed ‘unqualified middlemen’ who supplied goods at “outrageous” markups.
“Deals are often the result of a single phone-call made by the middleman, or so-called vendor, who only then pops around to the manufacturer, wholesaler or neighbourhood supermarket to buy the required goods,” the tabloid reported.
“By the time the product is delivered to the municipality, however, the mark-up can be as much as 400%.”
An example presented by Noseweek showed a near daily purchase of 100 lightbulbs from a small vendor which charged R300 a bulb – while the wholesale price of the same bulbs was put at just R79.
Other over-priced (and confusing) purchases made by the municipality includes thousands of tins of shoe-polish (at a 200% markup), washing powder (100% markup), and batteries priced at R30 each.
According to Noseweek, the ‘magic number’ for purchases was always around R30,000 -and with good reason.
Tender regulations in South Africa state that:
- For tenders under R30,000 the relevant government department will usually approach three registered providers for a quote;
- Tenders of more than R30,000 must generally be advertised to all subscribers;
- Tenders over R200,000 must be advertised and formally adjudicated.