City of Joburg uncovers R7.5 million in fraud and corruption

The City of Joburg’s anti-corruption unit has uncovered corrupt activity costing the city R7.5 million, relating to the city’s Joburg Market.

According to a report submitted to the city, three officials at the market, alongside their suppliers, defrauded the city by misrepresenting the completeness of services rendered by some suppliers, causing substantial financial loss to the city.

In one case, the cost of said misrepresentation amounted to R1.86 million – and in another case, the Joburg Market overpaid a supplier by R5 million. The supplier in question had business interests with employees of the market.

City mayor, Herman Mashaba said that a case of fraud, theft and corruption has been opened against the implicated officials and suppliers, and arrests were imminent.

The uncovered fraud is just the latest in a string of findings by the city’s new executives, who took over from ANC officials after the last municipal elections.

Mashaba, who is a DA mayor, has taken a strong-arm approach to ‘cleaning up’ the City of Johannesburg, and has chased after over 100 former government officials for their involvement in fraudulent behaviour, which has cost the city millions of rands.

In January 2017, Mashaba’s administration said that it identified 972 transactions that took place in the City of Johannesburg between January 2008 and February 2016, under the ANC government, relating to fraudulent licencing.

This equated to R14.7 million which was lost through corruption, which could have been better spent on service delivery, the group said.

In February, the mayor targeted the [email protected] programme, which he said was being exploited by those who were politically connected to score contracts, at the expense of the communities it was meant to uplift.

The mayor explained that each [email protected] project was outsourced to a middle-man, known as a Capacity Support Agent (CSA), “which effectively became a patronage network for the previous governing party. These CSA’s became rich overnight while many in our communities remained without work opportunities”.

Msahaba said that the city is currently working on a new programme which will be unveiled to replace the [email protected] scheme.

“I am serious about ensuring this administration delivers the kind of clean governance the residents of Johannesburg have demanded,” Mashaba said.

“To those who would pursue a career of crime and corruption within the City, I say, the days of past administrations turning a blind eye to your blatant looting are over. We will expose you and you will face the full might of the law.”

Read: Joburg mayor shuts down programme ‘turning ANC members into millionaires’

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City of Joburg uncovers R7.5 million in fraud and corruption