CoJ launches forensic investigation into Vumatel

MMC for Economic Development, councillor Leah Knott, confirmed that a forensic investigation has been launched into Vumatel's contract. Photo: Siso Naile.

 

“The Executive Mayor, councillor Herman Mashaba is adamant that corruption must be met head on, and those found wanting must face the full might of the law – including the private sector.”

In a recent media release, the Member of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) for Economic Development, councillor Leah Knott, said, “A forensic investigation was launched into the circumstances around the Altives 75 (Pty) Ltd Cell Mast contract with the Johannesburg Property Company (JPC).”

Also Read: Planned fibre roll-out for Roodepoort

She added that the original contract between the two parties required Altivex 75 to conduct an analysis of the cell mast industry and to produce a master plan for the regulation of cell mast applications involving City-owned street poles. They were also required to process applications from cell mast companies on behalf of the CoJ.

“This agreement did not in any way allow Altivex 75 to install aerial fibre or cede rights contained in the original contract and the proposed master plan has not seen the light of day.

As a result, JPC notified Altivex 75 of their breach of contract in April last year,” the MMC said.

It has come to light that Altivex 75 ceded its contract to Fibrehoods (Pty) Ltd, who in turn ceded it to Vumatel, all of them subsidiaries of the Waterfall Group. “The companies claim that Waterfall’s holding in all three companies have been bought out, but the CoJ has yet to see proof of this,” MMC Knott said.

In addition to this, two CoJ employees (one from JPC and one from City Power), issued fraudulent letters, saying the agreements between the CoJ and Vumatel/ Fibrehoods were valid. These letters convinced the Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) to issue wayleaves on demand.

City Power has notified Fibrehoods/ Vumatel that the contracts were not valid and were, in fact, in violation of the Local Government: Municipal Finance Management Act 56 of 2003, as well as the CoJ’s supply chain management policy. “A full mapping of all aerial fibre laid to date, as well as a plan from the company to rectify this situation, has been requested, but, to date, nothing has been received. Currently, Fibrehoods is engaged in litigation with the JRA and is pleading ignorance of the illegality of their contract,” said the MMC.

The City official who is currently employed by the CoJ will face immediate disciplinary action, and, in addition, criminal charges will be laid against both the current and former official.

“This is a very serious matter, as it carries substantial consequences that if left unchecked could result in a monopoly on aerial fibre being created using City infrastructure. That is why the City intends taking further action based on the outcome and recommendations of the forensic investigation,” the MMC concluded.

Do you perhaps have more information pertaining to this story? Email us at [email protected] (remember to include your contact details) or phone us on 011 955 1130.

For free daily local news on the West Rand, also visit our sister newspaper websites 

Randfontein Herald

Krugersdorp News 

Get It Joburg West Magazine

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  AUTHOR
Adéle Bloem
Journalist

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