The City of Johannesburg has announced that about R80 million worth of City Power infrastructure material was seized during a joint operation by the South African Police (SAP) detective service, the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) and the City’s Group Forensic and Investigation Service (GFIS).
GFIS received a tip-off from a member of the public that City Power’s infrastructure material provided to the contractors and subcontractors for daily maintenance, repairs and major projects was not returned to City Power’s stores upon the completion of projects.
The contractors were required to return the unused and replaced material upon completion of work as per the terms of the contract entered into by City Power. Whistleblowers also provided GFIS with details of 12 properties belonging to the contractors and subcontractors.
The team of investigators from GFIS conducted a preliminary investigation and established the City Power infrastructure was indeed kept at these properties.
The City said it obtained search warrants on 10 properties and proceeded to conduct search operation on the properties situated in Midrand, Kempton Park, Aeroton and Winchester Hills.
The statement said some of the material recovered from the properties include transformers, warning boards, overhead lines, streetlight fittings, fuses, circuit breakers, joint boxes, termination kits, streetlights and street poles.
The MMC for infrastructure and service delivery said he was also informed that some of the transformers found their way to other provinces such as KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga, and that some of these contractors colluded with officials from City Power and received surplus material that they used for contracts outside Johannesburg.
It is claimed that in one of the properties raided, material belonging to City Power was discovered, but the contractor did not provide services to City Power.
It is alleged that when the son of the owner of the property was found on the premises and quizzed, he revealed the marked drums that belong to City Power were destined for work in Ekurhuleni and Emalahleni.