De Lille in the crosshairs again over Cape Town's R47m black mark

30 January 2018 - 12:35 By Aron Hyman
Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille. File photo.
Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille. File photo.

Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille will face her latest battle for survival on Wednesday when she is expected to answer for R47-million in “irregular expenditure”‚ costing the city a clean audit.

The council will discuss a damning report by the auditor-general on Cape Town’s finances on the same day that councillors are expected to vote on the ANC’s motion of no-confidence against De Lille.

City of Cape Town spokesman Priya Reddy said the city’s administration viewed the findings “in a very serious light”.

The auditor-general’s report was based on the consolidated annual financial statements for 2016/2017‚ signed on September 29‚ 2017‚ by then-city manager Achmat Ebrahim‚ who has since resigned.

The statements list three instances of irregular expenditure amounting to a total of just over R47-million.

An instance of non-compliance with the Remuneration of Public Office Bearers Act is listed‚ involving R140 000. It is understood this is in reference to security upgrades to De Lille’s Pinelands home.

The second incident sites non-compliance with supply chain management regulations. It is understood this has to do with a R31.9-million deposit paid to Chinese company BYD for a R300 million electric bus deal.

The auditor general found that the tender specifications “were drafted in a biased manner and did not allow all potential suppliers to offer their goods or services”.

The third incident sites non-compliance with the Municipal Financial Management Act amounting to R14.9-million in irregular expenditure. It is understood this has to do with money that was stolen through ticket sales for the MyCiTi bus service.

The auditor-general found that “an effective system for internal control of revenue was not in place”.

Reddy said on Tuesday: “The city administration has taken note of the auditor-general’s findings and views them in a very serious light.

“We have already taken steps to address the findings in the ... report and are working hard to address them from an administrative perspective. We will await the council’s deliberation and further decisions on the auditor-general findings and the annual report.”

De Lille has consistently denied any wrongdoing in relation to security upgrades at her home. She is facing council and DA investigations on a range of allegations of misconduct.