The City of Ekurhuleni has clarified its stance on a media report by Amabhungane into the alleged lack of municipal oversight with regards to the roll out of chemical toilets in the city.
The report alleges that R1.9 billion was spent on chemical toilets over three financial years from 2017 to 2019.
The report further alleges that one supplier was contracted to render services to 119 informal settlements.
Responding to the article published on Wednesday, the City of Ekurhuleni outlined issues pertaining to the roll out of chemical toilets.
"Reports regarding poor workmanship in the delivery of chemical toilets throughout the city will be further investigated through the relevant oversight committees and random visits to communities through the Siyaqhuba Accelerated Service Delivery Programme," said Phakamile Mbengashe, Masina's spokesperson.
The Office of the Executive Mayor said while the tender was awarded in 2016, prior to him assuming office, his administration has taken over to improve sanitary services across the city.
"All service providers are appointed following Supply Chain Management (SCM) processes that are highly regulated and transparent. The City runs a transparent SCM process and the Bid Adjudication Committee is open to the public.
"This process is also subject to scrutiny by City's internal Audit Department, and the Auditor General of South Africa. During the 2017/18 financial year no audit findings were issued for maladministration and wasteful expenditure," said Mbengashe.
The city also attributed their increase on expenditure for sanitation due to the high influx of economic migrants that move to the city in search of job opportunities in the manufacturing sector.
"This has resulted in a rapid increase in the number of informal settlements in the city, where basic sanitation must be provided, as stimulated in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, under the Bill of Rights," said the city.
In a bid to correct an anomaly in the supply chain process of rendering this service, where one supplier was rendering the service to all 119 informal settlements, the city contracted more suppliers.
"We now have 16 contractors rendering the service after we unbundled the tender to ensure efficiency in the provision of this service, particularly to informal settlements.
"Following the due process of the City's Supply Chain Management Policy, the outcome thereof was that 16 bidders qualified and all of them were appointed," said the city.
According to the city, this followed an inspection it undertook to determine whether specifications were met -- which turns out they were met.
"These companies invoice the municipality as per the rates approved in the bid document," said the city.
Following an internal study, the City is set to introduce a baseline rate for the weekly servicing of toilets.
Furthermore, the city said it will soon utilise an average market related pricing regimen for monthly rental fees for a single toilet unit.
Details will be provided to the public following the issuing of the new tender for chemical toilets.