Buffalo City Metro has introduced a new “e-procurement” and central supplier data registration system in a bid to address irregular spending.
The announcement was made by BCM mayor Xola Pakati in his first state of the metro address at the Abbotsford Christian Centre in East London yesterday.
The announcement comes after the auditor-general (AG) Kimi Makwetu flagged BCM as one of four Eastern Cape councils in the top 10 irregular spenders in the country.
BCM recorded R370-million in irregular expenditure in the 2015/16 financial year – an improvement from the previous financial year’s R479-million.
Pakati told journalists before his address that the area of supply chain management had been one of the areas that concerned the metro’s leadership.
“The auditor-general has raised a number of issues around the supply chain which gave rise to some of the big qualifications in the annual report so we are working on that. Engaging the AG we are turning around the supply chain management unit and now introducing the e-procurement and central supply of data registration in order to eliminate the manual work that takes place,” said Pakati.
“We have adopted our supply chain management policy, infrastructure and procurement policy to turn around our performance.
“We have extended bid committees from three to six to improve tender awarding time.”
He said 70% of the upcoming 2017-18 financial year’s budget of R1.65-billion would go mainly towards:
lUpgrade and provision of wastewater infrastructure with an allocation of R284-million;
lWater services with an allocation of R130-million;
lUpgrade and construction of roads infrastructure network and stormwater drainage assets with an allocation of R271-million;
lR186-million has been allocated for the provision of integrated human settlement;
lR148-million has been allocated to electricity services; and
lThe city’s transport planning will be provided with R134-million.
Pakati said their search for health and public safety, human settlements, economic development agencies and municipal services heads of departments was at an advanced stage.
The address will be debated in council next week.
However, DA councillor Sue Bentley said they felt Pakati had simply repeated what had been said in previous years.
The EFF’s caucus leader, Chumani Matiwane, said the mayor’s address “remains a talkshop of the elites to display opulence whilst pretending to be working towards a people-oriented developmental metro and that delivers services equally to its citizens”.
“It is quite unfortunate that our townships are only considered by the ruling elite during election campaigns. We challenge the mayor to take the Soma to the people and not the leafy suburbs,” Matiwane said.
“The glaring inequality in the metro tells of a tale of two cities, where it is possible for the residents of Nompumelelo to stay in the dark for days while just across the street luxury car showrooms light the sky. [There is] construction of roads and bicycle lanes in the predominantly white areas while there are no roads in the Mdantsane and Reeston area.”