SALDANHA BAY MUNICIPALITY

REPORT FRAUD

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REPORT FRAUD, THEFT & CRIME!

Fraud, crime and theft is an increasing problem in South Africa. Too often, it is undetected and goes unreported, resulting in financial losses to organisations, eventually to the detriment of all stakeholders.

Saldanha Bay Municipality is no different – even as a local municipality. We are committed to conducting healthy business practices with honesty and integrity, which will not only ensure a stable environment for everyone but also ensure the continued future success of the municipality.

In order to report fraudulent activity, please complete the form below: 

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

1. WHAT IS WHISTLE-BLOWING?

Whistle-blowing is about “raising a concern about unethical or dishonest conduct within anorganisation, or outside an organisation, and which conduct has an impact on the organisation’soperations”. It is a key tool to promoting individual responsibility and organisational accountability in combating fraud and corruption.

3. WHAT SHOULD BE REPORTED THROUGH THIS HOTLINE?

Any knowledge or suspicion of unethical behaviour. Unethical behaviour is a collective term that includes fraud, corruption, theft, nepotism, conflicts of interest, non-compliance with the SBM rules and regulations, favouritism, discrimination, abuse of position, any dishonestbehaviour, somebody apparently living beyond his means, etc.

5. MUST I BE ABLE TO PROVE Y SUSPICION BEFORE CALLING THE HOTLINE?

No. The information contained in your report will be verified and followed up by experienced investigators. You only need to have a reasonable suspicion. This means that you must have information at your disposal (which may yet be unproven) that triggered your suspicion of somebody acting dishonestly or unethically.

7. WILL I REALLY REMAIN ANONYMOUS?

Yes. The call centre (including the facsimile, postal and email reporting options) is hosted and managed by an external service provider, off site. Strict confidentiality rules apply, even if you provide your personal details to the call centre agents, on the condition that its disclosure is allowed only to the investigators.

If you do not provide your personal details to the call centre agents, they would not know your identity, and there will be nothing to disclose. The call centre agents are experienced, and strict confidentiality rules have been included in their employment agreements.

If you wish to remain anonymous, take care to not disclose the information at your disposal in a way that may give away your identity. By saying “… in the 33 years I have been employed as …”; or “…from my office adjacent to Peter’s …” you will certainly risk being identified!

Only the external service provider;
• has keys to the Post Office Box where reports may be made through the postal system
• has access to the free fax number
• has access to your ‘please call me’ (sms call-back facility)
• has access to the free-call telephone number (fielding the calls); and
• has access to the email address reports are emailed to.
Using the web-mail reporting facility results in an email sent to an email address only the external service provider has access to.

9. IF I DECIDE TO REPORT MY SUSICION, WHAT INFORMATION WILL I BE ASKED TO PROVIDE?

Whistle-blowers should bear in mind that the objective of the Ethics Line is to utilise the information contained in the reports in an investigation. Thus, there should be sufficient detail to enable the following up of this matter. You will be asked to provide as much detail as possible, as this will assist the investigators in successfully concluding the investigation. 

If you are unsure whether you have sufficient information, we advise that you still report the matter.

2. WHY AN ETHICS LINE?

SBM established the hotline to provide its stakeholders (consumers, suppliers, employees, operators, transporters & the public) with a mechanism whereby they could voice any suspicion of unethical behavior totally anonymous, without fear of victimization in any way. This hotline is part of the SBM commitment to zero tolerance against dishonest and unethical the behavior of any of our stakeholders.

4. WHO MAY MAKE USE OF THE HOTLINE?

It is not only for the SBM employees, but all stakeholders. As a regulator, the SBM perceives all persons with knowledge of fraud, corruption and unethical behaviour that has an impact on the SBM and its operations, as its stakeholders (including operators).

6. WHAT SHOULD NOT BE REPORTED THROUGH THIS HOTLINE?

Any issues solely related to HR, i.e. complaints about bonuses, remuneration, promotions, grievance procedures, etc. The SBM has internal policies and procedures available for these complaints.
Any issues solely related to
• delays in issuing of permits, or
• complaints about conduct not falling within the ambit of the SBM, such as conditions of roads, traffic offences, etc.

8. WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN TO MY REPORT?

Substance reviews will be performed on all reported matters and investigations lodge where sufficient evidence of reported matters is found. If the investigation culminates in evidence indicating any criminal, civil or labour law contraventions, the SBM will take the necessary action in line with its commitment to zero tolerance.

10. IF I SELECT TO DISCLOSE MY IDENTITY, WILL I BE PROTECTED AGAINST VICTIMISATION?

Yes, as long as you are bona fide in submitting your report. This means that you should not have any ulterior motives for reporting and act in good faith (e.g. not conjuring a report against somebody on the basis of revenge etc.). Your suspicion should also be reasonable (see question 6 above for what amounts to a reasonable suspicion).

All whistle-blowers should bear in mind that the victimisation of whistle-blowers is an irregularity and may amount to misconduct (which is a dismissible offence in terms of the Labour Relations Act) and may even result in civil litigation.

All whistle-blowers should bear in mind that the victimisation of whistle-blowers is illegal and may result in civil litigation.

The SBM subscribes to the protection afforded by the Protected Disclosures Act, and the upholding of the principles against any form of victimization as contained in King III. If you want to know more on the protection afforded by the Act, please visit the website of the Open Democracy Advice Centre (ODAC) at www.opendemocracy.org.za.

ODAC is a section 21 company, whose mission is to promote transparent democracy, foster a culture of corporate and government accountability, and assist people in South Africa to realise their human rights, specifically relating to whistle-blowing, and the protection afforded by the Protected Disclosures Act. To this end, ODAC has established a helpline through which free, independent and confidential advice is provided to individuals, organisations and businesses which have concerns about misconduct and criminal or unethical conduct in the workplace. The helpline number is 0800 525 352 (0800 LALELA).

You may also submit questions to ODAC through its web-based helpline (see www.opendemocracy.org.za). You may also report perceived victimisation to the call centre, which will be investigated.