National 26.7.2016 12:52 pm

Mogale municipality tender processes ‘cause disruption’

PHOTO: Krugersdorp News

PHOTO: Krugersdorp News

Often tenders are not awarded in time, creating a service delivery vacuum or resulting in expensive alternatives through the ‘deviation’ process, the DA says.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) claims the Mogale City Municipality has failed to structure tender processes efficiently, resulting in service delivery disruptions to various communities, Krugersdorp News reports.

The Municipal Finance Management Act 56 of 2003, its Municipal Supply Chain Management Regulations, and the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act 32 of 2000 provide specific rules whereby procurement of services and supplies is executed.

Municipalities have a six-month window within which to award a new contract before an existing contract reaches completion. The intention behind the legislation is to ensure that municipalities achieve smooth transitions between existing and new contracts, without causing disruption to services.

In a press statement, the DA stated it maintained that the ANC in Mogale City has failed to utilise this opportunity to achieve the smooth transition between contracts. Often tenders are not awarded in time, creating a vacuum in service delivery, or resulting in the use of expensive alternatives through the “deviation” process.

Six months before the conclusion of a contract, a list of such contracts is circulated to all municipal departments to alert them of a contract’s expiry so that the tender process can be set in motion. This mechanism is particularly important in the municipal context, especially in a municipality of Mogale’s size, with many contracts of varying durations running concurrently. In spite of this, new tenders are not awarded in time.

Examples of these failures include:

  • The contract for the maintenance of air-conditioners in council-owned buildings, including the very vulnerable space which houses the council’s IT server, leading to potential damage to the council’s main server.
  • The notorious financial system, which has resulted in thousands of frustrated account-holders in Mogale City receiving incorrect statements month after month.
  • The withdrawal by the Gauteng Province of a Municipal Infrastructure Grant of R18 million last year as timelines were not complied with by the municipality.

The statement further reads that synchronising the municipality’s procurement processes to ensure the uninterrupted provision of services to residents is ultimately the responsibility of the municipality’s Procurement or Supply Chain Management Department as well as all other affected departments.

The statement continues, saying that “deviation” “is a ‘dirty’ word which sends shivers down the spine of the local DA and, presumably the Auditor General”.

This is a reference to municipal expenditure that has not been authorised but has been incurred because a contract was not in place. Admittedly, deviations are acceptable during emergencies, but this should never happen because contracts have not been finalised.

Municipal spokesperson Nkosana Zali has been approached for comment regarding the DA’s statement.

Caxton News Service

 

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