The City of Ekurhuleni strongly condemns the misinformation purported by the Citizen Newspaper article titled, “Protest over tenders”. The article was published by the Citizen Newspaper on 16 March 2021.
In the article, authored by Brian Sekotu, the Citizen Newspaper claims that, “The city’s multi-millionrand scheme meant to empower community-based contractors in the townships, only brought misery and destitution to struggling entrepreneurs – with bureaucrats and politically-connected individuals, said to be living a lifestyle of opulence: expensive cars and mansions.”
All allegations made against the city must be substantiated with facts and evidence. In line with the Press Code of Ethics and Conduct for the South African Print and Online media, the reporting of news by the media must present only what may reasonably be true as fact; opinions, allegations, rumours or suppositions shall be presented clearly as such. The media must also verify the accuracy of doubtful information, if practicable; if not, this shall be stated. No facts regarding the stated allegations have been presented in the article and this was not clearly presented as such.
For the record, the City of Ekurhuleni has not issued a waste removal tender since 2016. A new waste removal tender is set to be advertised to the public in June 2021. The city is aware that there are certain business forums that are disrupting service delivery operations with nefarious motives. They argue that they are entitled to any business opportunities presented by the state on the basis of the thirty percent subcontracting procurement guidelines as published in the Constitution. However, Regulation 9 of The Preferential Procurement Regulations of 2017, stipulates that the Organ of State must make available the list of all suppliers registered on a database approved by the National Treasury to provide the required goods or services in respect of the applicable designated groups mentioned above from which the bidder must select a supplier. This applies to all residents of South Africa.
Furthermore, the principle piece of legislation that regulates public procurement is Section 217 of the Constitution which requires that when an organ of state contracts for goods and services, it must do so in accordance with principles of fairness, equitability, transparency, competitiveness and cost-effectiveness.
The City of Ekurhuleni prides itself in upholding the rule of law and having an unwavering commitment to constitutionality. This is evident in the last Auditor General results, that found that the City of Ekurhuleni had incurred zero fruitless, wasteful and unauthorised expenditure for the period of 2019/2020 financial year. The city will not be held ransom by felonious individuals masquerading as business forums who are determined to undermine the good work of this administration.
The City of Ekurhuleni urges the Citizen Newspaper to uphold the tenets of the Press Code of Ethics and Conduct. Media practitioners should not politicise community news and succumb to the frenzy that emerges leading up to local government elections.