Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality ‘lost’ R3.8m of assets over three years

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Forget about the missing Taipei rice – the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality has managed to lose track of R3.8m worth of assets such as chairs, tables and lawnmowers.
This was revealed in a report tabled at the human resources and corporate administration committee on Tuesday.
It showed the municipality had been unable to find more than 10,000 assets for three consecutive years, starting in the 2014/2015 financial year.
Some of the missing assets include 1,185 office machines, 2,859 chairs, 1,634 tables, three lawnmowers, six compressors, 35 packs of medical equipment and even a security system.
The biggest monetary loss for the municipality was missing computer hardware worth R1.3m.
This was followed by office machines worth R889,913 and tables worth R738,875.
Libraries, museums and art galleries seemed to fare better in keeping track of their assets, with only four items missing at a combined worth of R2,479.
Acting corporate services director Nosipho Xhego submitted the report after the human resources and corporate administration committee asked for it on March 5.
The report was sent back to officials to add more details on the reasons for the losses and which departments they had been assigned to.
ANC councillor Makhi Feni, who chairs the committee, said the loss was simply unacceptable.
“It just can’t be like this. Service delivery is suffering due to this recklessness.”
He said the report needed more details before a plan of action could be agreed upon.
“If a pen has been lost we need to know who lost it,
which department it belonged to, how much it was worth, was there an investigation and if there were any repercussions.
“The money can’t just be written off like that,” he said.
EFF councillor Lukhanyo Mrara said the municipality was irresponsible for losing such a large number of assets.
“It is very bad. We could not even come to terms with how this even happened,” he said.
“We understand it is from a three-year cycle, but this shows severe negligence.”
He said the EFF wanted to know which department had lost the most assets.
“Officials just clumped all the assets together. The report must go back and be redone.”
DA councillor Rene Meyer said the report showed an average of R1m a year had been lost since the 2014/2015 year.
“It is an unreasonable amount of money to write off even if split over three years,” she said.
“Under normal circumstances, items are written off on a monthly basis.
“But now they are asking to write off R3.8m worth of assets.
“We are being cautious and asking for incident reports to understand why they are being written off,” she said.
In October, the municipality was given a donation of 40 tons of rice by Taipei.
Municipal spokesperson Mthubanzi Mniki said previously he did not know what had happened to the rice, while infrastructure and engineering political head Andile Lungisa denied the city had accepted the donation at all.
This, despite a picture surfacing of deputy mayor Thsonono Buyeye and economic development political head Queenie Pink accepting the rice on behalf of the city.

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