Councillors want reports on recruitment process after corruption claims
Every single name and address of the people who were shortlisted and ultimately hired as temporary workers to clean Nelson Mandela Bay’s streets must be scrutinised to ascertain if the process was marred by corruption.
The lists, allegedly submitted by deputy mayor Mongameli Bobani’s office, must then be compared with the names of those who were chosen by the metro’s Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) department, which was meant to run the recruitment process.
These were some of the suggestions bandied about yesterday by councillors who sit on the municipal public accounts committee (Mpac) as they discussed a report which points to alleged irregularities and interference in the way the temporary workers were hired.
Bobani was accused, in a report by the metro’s public health acting executive director Tsietsi Mokonenyane, of contravening the EPWP recruitment process by submitting lists of people who should be trained for the “War on Waste” jobs.
He also allegedly used his UDM councillor stamp to confirm the addresses of six new workers.
The EPWP recruitment process requires ward councillors to affirm that residents live in the respective wards. The EPWP sub-directorate distanced itself from the process when it found that the recruitment guidelines had not been followed.
Bobani has vehemently denied any wrongdoing and said he never issued an instruction to hire anybody.
Yesterday, the councillors said they wanted reports from everyone who may have had a hand in the interference in the recruitment process.
They also demanded to see the boxes that contained the applications of those who had applied for the jobs at their respective ward offices.
All the information had to be be provided to the Mpac at its next meeting, they said.
ANC councillor Kolekile Boqwana said the way the recruitment was managed raised eyebrows.
“With EPWP having distanced itself, it begs the question, where are the boxes today? I appeal to EPWP or whoever might know about the boxes to come forward,” Boqwana said.
EPWP coordinator Honjelwa Vantyu said they had received more than 10 000 applications in the first batch of CVs collected in the wards. Those names were loaded onto the department’s database.
Public health official Annalisa Dyakala said preparations were under way to hire a new group of temporary workers for the current financial year, for the War on Waste project’s second phase.
She said only R7-million had been made available for the current financial year, compared to the R15-million last year.
Dyakala said the department would try to compile a report with the names and addresses of the people on the lists.
DA councillor Morne Steyn said the matter was of concern as it would be regarded as irregular expenditure.
“We have names of people on these lists but there is no indication of which wards they are from or whether the city has been represented across all wards,” he said.
“I would like to know who these people are, which wards they are from, and whether or not they are entitled to the jobs.
“Unfortunately, this will lead to irregular expenditure and I recommend that a report be provided to the sub-committee of Mpac.”
Councillors also demanded a report on why the EPWP department had distanced itself from the process.
Patriotic Alliance councillor Marlon Daniels said: “The report by officials must be comprehensive.
“It must reflect the things we want to see – if there are 202 people without ward numbers, say so in your report.
“Every person must be called to give a report. This is serious. We cannot come to the next meeting and hear there was not enough time to go through the names.”