16 August 2023
SAMWU CALLS FOR INVESTIGATION INTO ALLEGATIONS OF TENDER IRREGULARITIES AND THE HUNTING DOWN OF A WHISTLE-BLOWER BY THE THULAMELA LOCAL MUNICIPALITY.
The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) in Limpopo Province has noted with concern reports of a decision taken by certain individuals at the Thulamela Local Municipality to hunt down a whistle-blower who exposed alleged tender corruption to the tune of R61.1 million.
In the spirit of transparency and accountability, SAMWU calls on the Thulamela Local Municipality to investigate the allegations made against the Municipal Manager and his involvement in flouting tender regulations. We further call on Council to investigate the veracity of the decision taken to hunt down the whistle-blower.
The Union has gone through very painful experiences wherein its leaders; Cdes Ronald Mani and Timson Tshililo at the Vhembe District Municipality were assassinated for exposing corruption at the District Municipality. The Thulamela Local Municipality is within the Vhembe District Municipality. As a Union, we do not want to see municipalities hellbent eliminating workers who expose greedy politicians and officials who enrich themselves through municipal resources.
As SAMWU, we condemn the victimisation of whistle-blowers. The 2020 Anti-Corruption National Strategy encourages workers to blow the lid on fraud and corruption they witness in their workplaces. The very same strategy further calls for the protection of whistle-blowers. The Union continuously encourages its members and municipal workers in general to expose fraud and corruption they witness in municipalities. It is for this reason that as a Union, we have always demanded the protection of whistle-blowers. Failure to protect whistle-blowers will deter many workers to expose fraud and corruption which has crippled many municipalities in the province.
As a Union, we do not want a repeat of the 2019 incidents which robbed the Union of its leaders, activists and importantly, robbed families of their fathers, husbands, and breadwinners. The Limpopo provincial government should also play an active role in ensuring that whistle-blowers are protected and that all allegations of fraud and corruption in municipalities are investigated.
SAMWU is of the view that the tendering system has opened up room for individuals to enrich themselves by manipulating the supply chain systems. As SAMWU, we remain opposed to the tendering system as it breeds corruption and inflates the costs of delivering systems. SAMWU is of the firm belief that the tendering system does not assist government in delivering services. This system has, instead, been used to enrich tenderpreneurs who exploits their employees by paying them slave wages, without any benefits or job security.
The Union will therefore be writing to the Speaker of the Thulamela Council to request that the municipality institute investigations into the allegations of tender irregularities which have made. Importantly, we want the Council to investigate and provide a report on the sanctioning of hunting down whistle-blowers.
As a Union, we are interested in seeing municipalities that are ethically run, municipalities who use the little resources that they have to deliver services to residents. Importantly, we are interested in seeing municipalities which protect whistle-blowers, instead of victimising them.
Issued by SAMWU Limpopo
076 785 9022
Deputy Provincial Secretary
083 302 4671