Service delivery suffers as Emfuleni blows over R168 million on consultants

The cash-strapped Emfuleni Local Municipality continues to spend money on consultants instead of using in-house officials to do the work. There is nothing to show for the millions spent on consultants as service delivery has collapsed in Emfuleni.

Emfuleni has spent R168 109 431,10 on consultants in the past six financial years for upgrading the infrastructure.

This information was revealed by the Gauteng MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Mzikayifani Khumalo, in a written reply to the DA’s questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL).

According to MEC Khumalo, 24 consulting companies were appointed to construct several roads, rehabilitate stormwater drainages, and build bulk water supplies.

It is concerning that all 55 projects are still at the design and supervision level.

Emfuleni has spent R3 950 418,20 on Onboard Consulting Engineers for designing the Vanderbijipark Cemetery and R2 466 179,37 to upgrade the Nanescol Cemetery. R7 395 153,89 has been spent on Thellong Development Services to rehabilitate Evaton multiple roads.

However, no work has been done at the Vanderbijipark Cemetery, and none of the Evaton roads have been rehabilitated.

See photos here, here and here.

Most of the projects have either not started or the contractors have abandoned the sites like the Nguna and Lake Side Road.

MEC Khumalo stated that Emfuleni does not have the technical teams to handle the technical requirements of these projects, hence they use consultants. This is an excuse to loot from a municipality that is going through a financial crisis.

For far too long, the DA has been demanding that Emfuleni must refrain from using consultants that do not save money and do not enable the municipality to deliver services to its residents.

The DA demands that MEC Khumalo must conduct a forensic audit of all the work done by these consultants to ascertain whether there is value for money. Furthermore, we demand that a skills audit be conducted to ensure that Emfuleni is capacitated with adequate skills to deliver services to its residents instead of relying on consultants to do the work.

DA to assess the incomplete and abandoned Evaton Renewal Project in Emfuleni

Today, Monday, 12 June 2023, the Democratic Alliance (DA) Gauteng Shadow MEC for Human Settlements, Meryn Cirota MPL, the DA Gauteng Spokesperson for Human Settlements, Evert Du Plessis MPL and the DA Constituency Head for Emfuleni North, Kingsol Chabalala MPL, will conduct oversight inspections in Evaton Renewal Project in Emfuleni Local Municipality.

The purpose of the oversight inspection is to assess the progress of the Evaton Renewal Project in terms of eradicating pit toilets and building RDP houses and roads.

The Evaton Renewal Project was implemented in 2004 and meant to improve the living conditions of Evaton residents is still incomplete and abandoned.

The DA will visit the area and engage with residents to establish if there is any progress on Evaton Renewal Project and access to quality services.

The DA will assess the work done and establish workable solutions to ensure incomplete and abandoned projects are completed.

Members of the media are invited, and there will be an opportunity for interviews and photographs.

Details of the oversight inspections are as follows:
Date: 12 June 2023

Oversight inspection one

Location: 962 Miller Road 962 Miller road Evaton, Evaton, Vereeniging, 1984
Time: 10:00-10:20

Oversight inspection two:

Location: Evaton RDP house, Buffalo Road,
Time: 10:40-11:05

Oversight inspection three:

Location: Evaton Road
Time: 11:15 to 11:30

Oversight inspection four:

Location: Muthi House, Muthi House Taxi Rank, Adams Rd, Evaton Central, Evaton, 1985.
Time: 11:40 -12:00

Emfuleni spends almost half a billion on overtime, yet no services are delivered

Residents of the Emfuleni Local Municipality are suffering because service delivery has collapsed, yet the municipality has spent almost half a billion on overtime.

In the past five years, Emfuleni has paid R494 007 655.00 in overtime to employees, despite having outsourced the same functions from external service providers.

This municipality has paid R473 million to service providers for rendering the following services: electrical maintenance, sewer, water leaks, clearing dumping sites and refuse collection.

This information was revealed by the Gauteng MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Mzi Khumalo in a written reply to the DA’s questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL).

For each financial year over R70 million was spent on overtime:

· 2017/18 financial year R76 260 983

· 2018/19 financial year R89 562 266

· 2019/20 financial year R100 998 799

· 2020/21 financial year R102 696 271

· 2021/22 financial year R124 489 336

Emfuleni is failing dismally to render services to its residents. There is no regular refuse removal, sewer spillages are flowing all over the streets because the municipality does not have a plan in place to upgrade the dilapidated bulk water infrastructure.

See the photos here, here and here.

Service providers contracted for the refuse collection were paid R2 300 000.00 and the municipality also spends an average of R1 345 780.00 on waste removal employees monthly.

This is a waste of taxpayers’ money as there is nothing to show for these millions spent on waste removal employees and service providers as there are piles of rubbish on every corner of the street in Emfuleni.

Refuse removal trucks are running out of diesel resulting in no regular refuse collection.

Residents have suffered enough under this current government in Emfuleni. They pay for services with their hard-earned money which is not rendered to them accordingly.

The DA will write to MEC Khumalo demanding a forensic report on the overtime paid to employees and money spent on service providers because there is no improvement in service delivery in Emfuleni.

We will engage our DA councillors in Emfuleni to table a motion in Council to probe overtime paid on employees and outsourcing of service providers.

We believe that the work being done by service providers can be done by internal employees who are claiming exorbitant money on overtime. This will help to curb wasteful expenditure and to ensure that residents are rendered services they deserve.

Emfuleni spends over R75 million on consultants while employees claim overtime for the same work

The cash scrapped Emfuleni Local Municipality (ELM) has spent R75 325 518.25 on five service providers for electrical maintenance while its permanent employees claim overtime for the same services the municipality has outsourced.

Motlanatso, Downtown, The Brand, Kheriol Engineering and Direct Bongwe were contracted to provide daily electrical maintenance and cable testing for electrical faults. Emfuleni is outsourcing despite having permanent electricians capable of rendering the same services.

This information was revealed by the Gauteng MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Mzi Khumalo, in a written reply to the DA’s questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL).

According to MEC Khumalo, Emfuleni has paid R46 855 835.56 for overtime to its own and contracted electricians in the last five financial years.

This is extremely concerning that Emfuleni continues to waste money by paying twice for the same service while residents suffer due to the collapse of service delivery.

This municipality is struggling to pay its debt owed to Eskom and Rand Water. The money wasted on paying for overtime and outsourcing services could be used to reduce the debt owed to Eskom and Rand Water to ensure uninterrupted water and electricity supply to its residents.

The DA demands that COGTA must urgently investigate why Emfuleni is outsourcing while there have employees hired to render the same service.

The continued financial mismanagement of municipalities’ coffers is an insult to loyal rate-paying residents of Emfuleni. Therefore, the DA proposes that these funds wasted on outsourcing and paying overtime should be used to purchase electrical equipment for municipal electricians to perform the required services.

Assets Attached: Emfuleni residents continue to endure bad service delivery while Eskom bill remains unpaid

Emfuleni residents are once again on the losing end of the stick when it comes to having a reliable supply of electricity from Eskom.

The Emfuleni Local Municipality (ELM) owes Eskom R1,3 billion rand. To recoup this money, Eskom has now obtained a court order which has led to ELM’s assets being attached.

Furthermore, the State-Owned Entity (SOE) has also served ELM with a summons of R3.3 billion for the non-payment of its bulk electricity supply. To add further insult to injury the municipality is yet to file a plea outlining the reasons for non-payment.

It is very concerning that ELM is failing to honour its debt to Eskom. This money will assist the SOE in ensuring that regular maintenance is carried out so that the power grid remains stable.

However, because of the non-payment from this municipality, the further strain has now been put on Eskom.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is demanding that the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), must come clean and admit that the strategy that they had put in place to turn this municipality is not working. This has now led to the administrator withdrawing.

COGTA must tell the residents of Emfuleni why they were satisfied with the turnaround strategy that was signed off and exactly what the reasons are that ELM is not paying the debt they owe to Eskom.

By having their assets attached, service delivery which is already not up to standard is now being put under more strain, depriving residents who diligently pay their rates and taxes of the services they deserve.

It is clear that a drastic change is needed in this municipality and the only way in which this can happen is if residents put a government in power that is committed to providing transparent governance and proper service delivery.

DA Pressure restores Electricity to Botebo Tsebo Secondary School

The Democratic Alliance in Emfuleni is glad to announce that electricity will be restored to the Botebo Tsebo Secondary school in Zone 14 Emfuleni. This after pressure exerted by the DA on the provincial and local governments to intervene in a dire situation.

During an oversight visit by the DA earlier this year we found that the school has been without power for more than a year even though they’ve paid more than R1million to Eskom in June for an installation of a new transformer.

Exacerbating the situation further the school has been vandalized more than eight times in the last year, including the stealing of electricity cables, printers, computers, books, a generator, doors, smartboards, and Wi-Fi cables. This disrupted education to the school and infringed the human rights of the learners.

Through the DA’s interventions a transformer has now been installed and a contractor has been appointed to replace the stolen cables. This will give teachers and learners the opportunity to continue providing and receiving a quality education with sufficient light and other facilities being restored.

This was achieved through the efforts of Councillor Dady Molo, Councillor Thabo Motsoane and the DA’s Shadow MEC for Education, Khume Ramulifho MPL who engaged the local authorities and the MEC for Education for assistance. The pressure exerted has led to the imminent restoration of power to the school.

We believe that only quality education will allow us to deliver opportunities for all South Africans and that every child must have an opportunity to learn in a safe, supportive environment.

The DA will continue to fight for quality education and empowerment of individuals to obtain a fulfilling job, contribute to the economy and realise their potential.

Emfuleni spends over R200 million on service providers, yet sewer and water leaks persist

The residents of Emfuleni Local Municipality must still bear the brunt of poor service delivery as their streets continue to be filled with sewer spillages and water leakages yet, the municipality’s Metsi a Lekoa Unit has spent over R221,613,086.97 million on service providers.

This is unaccaptable considering that Emfuleni has also spent over R65 million on overtime for Metsi a Lekao employees in the last four financial years and there is nothing to show for the money spent.

This information was revealed by the Gauteng MEC for Cooperative Government and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Lebogang Maile in a written reply to my questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL).

According to MEC Maile, Metsi a Lekoa has contracted service providers to unblock sewers and fix water leakages for a period of 36 months.

The following service providers are among the list of service providers that have already been paid millions by the municipality:

• Lekoa Construction Services was paid R20, 509,677.81,
• Garujo Trading Enterprise was paid R12, 804,880.10,
• Bokana Construction and Projects was paid R15,563,812.75
• Sobangena Trading was paid R32,844,928.42
• Ntlangano Business Enterprise was paid R11, 066, 785.04,
• Kunjalo Kunje Trading was paid R10, 286, 436.01,
• and Alsandro Construction Pty was paid R83,757,974.86

This municipality to continue to waste millions of rands instead of fixing the water infrastructure to reduce water losses. This is certainly money down the drain because no results have been yielded.

There are also allegations that some of the above companies are owned by members of the ANC and the DA will liaise with the relevant authorities to investigate the procurement processes and possible corruption in this regard.

The DA will be engaging our councillors in Emfuleni to propose that the municipality must consider scrapping the outsourcing of service providers and instead use in-house resources to fix the persistent water and sewer issues.

Legal action not taken against officials implicated in ‘jobs for pals’ scandal in Emfuleni

The Emfuleni Local Municipality has misled the Gauteng MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Lebogang Maile about taking legal action following allegations of the irregular extension of political appointees’ contracts in the Mayor, Chief whip, and council speaker offices.

These appointments were made weeks before the local government elections which the DA objected to and requested MEC Maile to investigate the matter. These political appointments were illegal as the officials were linked to the previous administration’s political term.

The DA has been informed by MEC Maile in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature that the investigation into the matter was never carried out because Emfuleni had taken legal steps to remedy the situation. The Emfuleni Mayor indicated that the council has resolved to approach the labour court to adjudicate the disputes over contracts of the staff in the political offices which were extended before the end of the previous political term of office.

Emfuleni has provided misleading information to MEC Maile as the suspension of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) was the only matter that was tabled in council and referred to the labour court.

The DA has been reliably informed that the CFO was suspended for among other reasons, extending the contracts of the officials’ weeks before the local general elections. However, the suspended CFO is alleging that he was following orders from the former mayor and former chief whip as he was the acting municipal manager at that stage.

The DA demands that MEC Maile initiate an urgent investigation into this matter to ascertain whether the issue of extending contracts of political appointees was referred to the labour court. Should it be found that Emfuleni misled the MEC those responsible should face severe consequences.

Giving jobs to pals is clear corruption and flouts all ethical practices within any organization hence consequence management must take place.

Emfuleni loses 56% of its water yet spends over R65 million on overtime

Emfuleni Local Municipality is losing about 56% of its water due to water leakages, illegal water network connections, faulty metering, incorrect meter readings and old and dilapidated water infrastructure, yet the municipality continues to spend on overtime for Metsi a Lekao employees.

The residents of Emfuleni are bearing the cost of an increase in rates for water and low water pressure due to the municipality’s failure to attend to reported water leaks timeously and to pay its debt owed to Rand Water while employees are paid exorbitant overtime.

This information was revealed by the Gauteng MEC for Cooperative Government and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Lebogang Maile in a written reply to my questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL).

According to MEC Maile, Emfuleni has spent R65 832 014.47 on overtime for Metsi a Lekao employees in the last four financial years.

The breakdown of the money spent on overtime for Metsi a Lekao employees is as follows:

2021/2022 financial year – R10 601 586.76
2020/2021 financial year- R17 637 412.99
2019/2020 financial year- R19 633 849.46
2018/2019 financial year-R17 959 165.26

Total R65 832 014.47

This is unacceptable as Emfuleni residents are complaining about the municipality’s failure to attend to reported water leaks, blast water pipes and sewer blockages. This has resulted in sewer spillages across many streets in Emfuleni which is a health hazard.

This money that is wasted on Metsi a Lekao employees could be used to replace and fix the municipality’s ageing water pipes to ensure that they reduce water losses.

The DA will be engaging our councillors in Emfuleni to table the issue of water losses and cutting down on money being spent on employees’ overtime for discussion in council. This will assist in adopting measures to curb the waste of taxpayers’ money and ensure that the little money that Emfuleni has is spent wisely for the benefit of its residents. We will continue to put pressure on the Emfuleni Mayor to prioritise fixing and maintaining water infrastructure and educating residents about saving water.

Water is a precious scarce natural resource that must be preserved and to ensure that all residents have access to uninterrupted water supply Emfuleni must adopt effective water control measures and fix the ageing water infrastructure.

MEC Maile succumbs to DA pressure to investigate the illegal extension of employment contracts for Emfuleni political staff

Following the public criticism of the Emfuleni Local Municipality by various stakeholders for advertising several political support office positions two weeks before the Local Government Elections, which were later withdrawn, there are now allegations that the process continued in secret and political staff members had their contracts extended before the elections.

There are allegations that those advertised positions were extended before the elections and raises great concern, considering that is illegal. The standard legal procedure requires the Emfuleni Local Municipality Human Resources Department to advertise the post after the election of the new administration which entails the Mayor, Speaker, and Chief Whip.

Failure by Emfuleni to follow the legal standards of employment recruitments indicates that the ANC wanted to secure jobs for their pals considering the nature these positions are party affiliated.

In response to my oral questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature, virtual sitting, the Gauteng MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Lebogang Maile stated that they treat these allegations seriously, and that they will investigate the matter to get to the bottom of the facts and accordingly ensure that the applicable legislation is followed to the latter.

He further highlighted that there is a new Mayor, Speaker, and Chief Whip in Emfuleni and there was no response readily available on the matter.

While we welcome that these allegations will be investigated, we will continue monitoring the recruitment processes in Emfuleni, as there are new political leaders to ensure that standard recruitment procedures are followed.

Emfuleni is where it is today because of cadre deployment. It is high time that the new ANC-led administration focuses on restoring service delivery and using municipality coffers wisely for the benefits of its residents instead of lining their cronies’ pockets.