Who confused a low bed with a concrete mixer?

Checking out the Umvoti Municipality Facebook this week the following, although dated 16 May, appears to have been published on Facebook very recently. It answers the questions many ratepayers have had about the machine standing unused in the Municipal engineer’s yard for the past three years.

It apparently has been posted because of allegations being made that there was a misapppropriation of funds, on a high level,through the tender for these machines According to the allegations, a tender was awarded as a ruse to access municipal funds and the equipment that was supplied through this tender, now stand unused. In response to these rumours a spokesperson for the Municipality posted the following on its Facebook:

“We categorically deny these accusations as they are not only baseless but seem to be vindictive towards the Mayor.

In 2015 Umvoti Municipality procured the services of a service provider under section 36 of the procurement processes which allows the municipality to deviate from normal supply chain management processes to purchase 2 Tipper Trucks;a TLB:Grader;escalator;roller;and low bed.

All equipment was delivered except for the low bed – a concrete mixer,valued at R 1.5 million was supplied in lieu of . The Municipality has made many attempts to return the concrete mixer and to receive the low bed or to get its money back, but to no avail. Th supplier is now been sued and the case is expected to be heard next week in Pietermaritzburg High Court.

The Facebook statement concludes:”It is also of utmost importance to note that the Mayor, in his political capacity, has no say on supply chain processes as they are an administrative function of the municipality and as such he played no role in the awarding of this tender.”

There is no explanation from the municipality why it was necessary for section 36 to be used to procure this equipment and to deviate from the usual tender process under Section 32. –what was the emergency? Also no explanation why the money was paid over to the supplier prior to the arrival of the equipment.