12 November 2021
Umsbomvu continues to attack whistleblowers for exposing corruption in the municipality.
The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) has learnt with disgust that its members have been targeted by management of Umsobomvu Local Municipality in the Northern Cape Province for waging war against corruption in the municipality, essentially silencing whistleblowers.
The latest attack on whistleblowers comes after an investigation on allegations of fraud and maladministration was conducted in the municipality in January this year by the Office of the Northern Cape Premier. The report vindicated the union on the calls made that action should be taken against individuals who have used municipal resources for the benefit of themselves, their cronies and their family members.
The investigation uncovered serious acts of maladministration, maleficent, fraud and total disregard for the institution’s policies. Among others, the report found that;
1. Nepotism was rampant in the municipality.
2. The wife of the Mayor being employed without following proper channels.
3. Mismanagement of municipal funds through buying of old trucks without following supply chain management processes.
Following the release of the report, the municipal management embarked on a witch hunt, targeting employees who were instrumental in blowing the lid on the rampant corruption, fraud and maladministration in the municipality. The municipal management went as far as bogusly charging workers for participating in the formation of the Umsobomvu Residents Associations which contested the recent Local Government Elections, a clear violation of workers’ constitutional rights and the Labour Relations Act.
We will as SAMWU not sit back and be spectators when workers in the municipality are persecuted for exposing the shenanigans of the municipal management. As SAMWU we are interested in seeing municipalities that are free from corruption, nepotism and maladministration. It is for this reason that we encourage our members to continue exposing corruption when they see it in municipalities.
We are ready as a union to defend the rights of our members which the Umsobomvu Local Municipality seeks to nullify and erode by victimising whistleblowers. The corruption that has been happening with impunity at the institution has had devastating consequences on service delivery. Before we are municipal workers, we are community members and as such we too want to see the continued and improved delivery of services in our communities.
As SAMWU in the Northern Cape, we have declared corruption, fraud and maladministration as the number one enemy of municipal economic development and service delivery. We therefore are not going to turn a blind eye and look away when the institution that is needed by communities is under attack from municipal management.
By seeking to silence whistleblowers and protecting perpetrators of fraud and corruption in the the municipality, the Umsobomvu Local Municipality has declared war against SAMWU, a war that we will ensure that we fight to the bitter end. As SAMWU we want to see municipalities that are responsive to the needs of residents and more importantly, municipalities that are accountable and transparent, something that cannot be said about the Umsobomvu Local Municipality.
Issued by SAMWU Northern Cape
(071 889 2023)
Deputy Provincial Secretary
(076 329 8860)
(071 269 1470).