The OR Tambo District Municipality in the Eastern Cape is under fire again for its business dealings.

This after two invoices amounting to more than R3 million to one company landed in the public domain.

The invoices were issued by an East London based company, Ayavelisa Consulting, appointed by the municipality to assist with COVID-19 awareness campaigns.

The municipality refutes the allegation that the cost of the services rendered were inflated. OR Tambo Municipality spokesperson, Zimkhita Macingwane, says it cost much less than the traditional physical information campaigns.

But the service provider has not been paid, despite the invoices indicating otherwise. Macingwane says the suspension of the municipal manager is the cause of the delay.

“The supplier had not been paid by the time the invoices were published on various social media platforms. According to our knowledge and internal investigation and fact-finding mission, the suppliers had not been paid that amount of money.”

Managing Director of Ayavelisa Consulting, Tando Vutha, says they were contracted by the municipality to rope in the community media sector and assist with live stream services. The company is demanding payment.

“We are through our lawyers going to submit a letter because we invoiced OR Tambo a while back when the work had been done but their financial system had crashed and had not been advised when we were doing follow-ups. How the invoices ended up on social media I don’t know.”

The Mthatha based, UCR FM, was part of the awareness project. The station has a listenership base of 200 000. Station manager Mzwandile Tsandu says it has been two months since the project went to air, but no payment has been forthcoming.

“It’s almost two months now and it’s affecting the station negatively because we have to pay our staff members who have not been paid for a long time because we are waiting for this money and we can’t do other operations. We suspended everything for this awareness campaign and it’s affecting us negatively now.”

OR Tambo Municipality spokesperson Zimkhita Macingwane on the issue: