UPDATE: KwaDukuza wins case as printer fiasco continues to cause delays

The irregular contract was apparently slipped into a pile of papers sent for signing which saw printing costs escalate from R30 000 to R300 000 for six months.

KwaDukuza municipality (KDM) has won a court case to end an irregular printing contract worth millions, while the consequences of the suspicious tenders wreaks havoc in the various departments left without machines.

Last September it was discovered that two contracts costing KDM R1.8 million were both signed off for the same printing service while the municipal manager, Nhlanhla Mdakane, was on leave.

The irregular contract was apparently slipped into a pile of papers sent for signing which saw printing costs escalate from R30 000 to R300 000 for six months.

Should the transaction have continued for the three-year term, it would have cost the municipality about R10 million.

Also read: KDM fraud saga continues

Last month KDM was given the go-ahead at the Durban High Court to cancel the irregular contracts as proper tender processes were not followed.

The municipality was ordered to pay R176 000 for the six months that the services where used.

In light of the investigation which saw six officials probed for their involvement in the alleged fraud, printing machines were removed from KDM departments at the beginning of this year leaving behind old machines, most of which did not work.

This has been making the printing of important documents and building plans increasingly difficult.

A building administrator who asked to remain anonymous said building plans were being delayed by weeks.

“I have been waiting for letters of approval for building plans from the council for weeks, but have not received them because they have no printers.

“Actual building plans and any other admin is a headache at the moment.”

A municipal employee who asked to remain anonymous said they were given instructions months ago to stop using the printers.

However, KDM media liaison officer Sipho Mkhize, told the Courier that provisions for printing had been made. He could not say what the provisions were. According to an anonymous source within the municipality, officials are trying the rake up about R2 million from the various department budgets for new printers.

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  AUTHOR
Erica Abrahams
Journalist

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