The Democratic Alliance in the Eastern Cape will be holding the MEC for Local Government to account for the situation regarding the possible re awarding of the Automated Metre Reading contract (AMR) in the Nelson Mandela Metro.

In terms of chapter 11 sections 110-120 of the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA) it is stated in section 112 (2) that the regulatory framework for municipal supply chain must be fair, equitable ,transparent, equitable competitive and cost effective.

The investigation by the Special Investigation Unit (SIU) into the matter clearly shows that there is doubt in this regard.

Furthermore, it is serious that the MEC for Local Government has elected not to make the contents of the report public, which he is compelled to do by law.

Of major concern, as reported in the media, is the interference by the acting municipal manager of the Metro informing Unique Mbane that the Metro wished to honour the existing contract contrary to legal opinion and doubt as to whether the procurement could be completed by the original March 2011 deadline.

The actions of the municipal manager in this regard go contrary to section 118 of the MFMA, which states that no one may interfere with the supply management system of a municipality.

With an appalling track record by the Metro of entering into ill considered contracts in the past with serious financial consequences, it is essential that every major contract be thoroughly investigated prior to its award.

The DA will be submitting oral questions for public answer in the Legislature in this matter and will be applying constant pressure on the MEC until satisfactory answers and action is undertaken by the MEC and his department in this regard.

Furthermore, the DA will be putting in a private members motion to the Legislature later in the year to reform the tender and procurement process to ensure that citizens get fair value and services and not (as is so often the case) have tender procurement awards given to ANC loyalists and party hacks.

For more information contact Dacre Haddon on 079 694 3788

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