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Compiled by Gareth Cotterell

Digital Editor

Municipality spends R38m on call centre, despite already having one – report

North West municipality facing accusations of corruption after spending inflated amounts of money on a call centre that isn’t providing services and was not needed.

The Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati District Municipality has been accused of corruption after spending R38 million for a small prefabricated structure it uses as a call centre.

The municipality in the North West is also spending about R1.4 million a month for the equipment in the call centre.

These large amounts of money are being spent despite and functioning call centre already existing on the same premises.

According to a City Press report, the tender for the “establishment, operation and maintenance of the call centre” was awarded to the company Wcyber Solutions in February 2022.

The report also states that the project is a joint venture with Greendroplets Project – which is owned by Ntombizodwa Bosaletse, who is allegedly related to a high-ranking municipal official.

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The joint venture is for 36 months.

Eye-watering amounts being spent

Some of criticism is due to the seemingly inflated amounts being spent on the call centre and equipment.

The municipality is spending R469 a month for a computer mouse that should cost R70. It is also paying R450 for a keyboard that would normally cost R99.

It has also been criticised for paying R32 371 for a monitor that ordinarily costs about R3 000, and R4 600 for earphones which retail for around R700.

City Press listed other items that came at a huge expense. They include:

  • R258 973.92 for eight Lenovo desktops;
  • R524 435.04 for car radios in the emergency vehicles;
  • R324 564.96 for walkie talkies;
  • R16 253,18 for one Huawei Router; and
  • R24 910 for fibre and internet.

‘No need for the call centre’

The outrage over the costs of the new call centre is heightened by the fact that there is already a functioning call centre on the same property.

A senior official in the municipality, who asked to remain anonymous, said spending R38 million on the new call centre was a waste of money.

“There was no need for the call centre because the municipality has a call centre in the same yard where the new structure was built. The agents for the old call centre are full-time employees and are paid by the municipality,” the official said.

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The official also claimed some of the equipment the municipality supposedly bought is not available, while the structure has never provided any service to the community.

The source also told the publication the tender “was dubiously advertised and awarded without following the supply chain management processes being followed”.

Despite the eye-watering sums and damning allegations, municipal manager Itumeleng Jonas said all the money spent on the call centre was done in accordance with the Municipal Finance Management Act and municipal budget and reporting regulations.

ALSO READ: North West municipalities leave R460 million unspent for 2021-22

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