R1.9bn toilet tender causes a stink

04 July 2019 - 14:25 By PENWELL DLAMINI
Gauteng MEC for human settlements Lebogang Maile wants answers about a chemical toilet tender reportedly worth R1.9bn.
Gauteng MEC for human settlements Lebogang Maile wants answers about a chemical toilet tender reportedly worth R1.9bn.
Image: 123RF/Nadezda Murmakova

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, which 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, leaving 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 allegations 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.

The city said spending on these toilets increased from R379m in 2016-2017 to R828m in 2017-2018 and R758m in 2018-2019.

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