Executive Mayor Nqaba Bhanga speech notes for a press conference on internal audit reports on 27 July.
When I was elected as Executive Mayor in December 2020 and shortly thereafter our coalition government was formed – I made a firm and unwavering commitment to stamping out corruption in Nelson Mandela Bay.
I made it very clear that our government will hold the administration, municipal officials and politicians to the highest standard and will not tolerate any impropriety.
Our government will always ensure that;
- We are accountable to the people.
- That we reflect the will of the people. Those to whom we entrust our Metro’s highest offices have a sacred duty to live up to that trust.
- Our government always acts honestly, transparently and in the best interests of all residents.
- Every cent of taxes we receive or government money – belongs to the people. Taxpayers’ money should be spent for the benefit of the people, not the connected few.
The NMBM’s strategic objectives (as contained in the 2021/22 Integrated Development Plan) include inter alia:
- “Ensure financial prudence and transparent governance and work towards eradicating corruption.
- To improve public confidence and trust in the leadership of the City through inter alia institutional accessibility, effective communication channels for participatory and responsive governance.”
Good governance and public participation is also one of the Key Performance Areas of Local Government.
In this regard Council adopted the updated Anti-fraud and Anti-Corruption Strategy and Related Policies on 31 March 2021.
Internal Audit and Risk Assurance
The Internal Audit and Risk Assurance Sub-Directorate (IA) is focused on promoting ethics, good governance and integrity within the NMBM.
IA reports administratively to the Acting City Manager, and functionally to the independent Audit Committee, which comprises of external members, and which reports to Council.
Status of Forensic Investigations
Various investigations have been / are being conducted.
Since I have taken office – 16 cases have been referred to Internal Audit, some of which emanated from my office.
The Forensics unit has a close working relationship with law enforcement agencies, including SAPS, HAWKS, SIU and Public Protector.
Some cases run in parallel with portions of the investigations being conducted internally, while external agencies also conduct investigations. The Forensics unit communicates with the relevant agencies to confirm that the scope of investigations are complementary and not a duplication of efforts.
In some instances, the outcome of investigations relate to administrative matters which the Acting City Manager has to implement. Where senior managers are implicated, this is dealt with through the MPAC and independent Disciplinary Board.
In my capacity as Mayor I have an oversight role, with a focus on stamping out corruption within NMBM, wherever it may occur.
Important resources available to the public to report suspected corruption
- Visit the NMBM Website for a copy of the updated Anti-fraud and Anti-Corruption Strategy and Related Policies on 31 March 2021 www.nelsonmandelabay.gov.za/Council/Policies
- NMBM FRAUD HOTLINE 041 506 5522
- NMBM FRAUD HOTLINE EMAIL: email@example.com
I will now hand over to the Acting Director of Internal Audit Ms Tania Knoetze to provide an administrative summary of the cases that Internal Audit are currently dealing with;
The following statistics bear mentioning:
- Of the total of 153 cases reported since 2015/2016:
- 58 have been completed
- 95 cases are under review / in progress
- 12 are under review (Assistant Director: Forensics & Acting Director: IA)
- 77 cases are in progress
- 6 are other cases (SAPS / under investigation)
- 15 have been referred to external law enforcement agencies (cases opened at SAPS)
- Of the total remaining 95 cases currently being attended to:
- 25 priority cases are estimated to be completed by December 2021
- The top ten case categories reported to Forensics reflect the following types of allegations:
- 39 x SCM related matters
- 22 x Fraud
- 13 x Misconduct cases
- 12 x Nepotism
- 9 x Human Resource related matters
- 7 x Conflict of interest matters
- 6 x Irregular Expenditure cases
- 6 x Abuse of assets
- 6 x ICT related
- 4 x Rental of facilities and leases
- PLEASE NOTE THAT IN ORDER TO PROTECT THE INTEGRITY OF THESE INVESTIGATIONS, THE DETAILS CANNOT BE DIVULGED AT THIS STAGE.
- The 58 investigations completed – have all been referred either to law enforcement where there is a criminal component or to the ACM for forwarding to the disciplinary board for actions to be taken.