by Boitumelo Babuseng MPL – DA Northern Cape Provincial Spokesperson of Finances
Date: 01 December 2017
Type: Press Statement
The Democratic Alliance (DA) has repeated its call to the legislature’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) to launch an investigation into expenditure by the provincial Department of Transport, Safety and Liaison, regarding millions received by the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC).
To date, the department has failed to fully account for a R60 million allocation received from RTMC in 2014 for road safety initiatives.
Since then, the department has continued to be given funding from RTMC. In fact, just last week it was announced during the adjustment appropriation budget that the department has received another R6 million from the RTMC to deal with road safety programmes.
It is inconceivable how funds can continue to be so freely dished out to a department that has blatantly failed to account for its expenditure of these funds.
With regards to the R60 million, all that we have been able to establish in the past three years is that R32 million was wrongly classified as a “transfer” to an implementing agent known as “Wilcovert”, that furniture and donkey carts were amongst the goods procured, and that money was paid to Wilcovert before any services or supplies were delivered.
The department has repeatedly requested clarity regarding the Wilcovert expenditure but, despite promises to do so, no information has been forthcoming from the department to date.
Recently, MEC of Transport, Safety and Liaison, Pauline Williams, indicated that the department didn’t have funds to investigate the matter but that she had appealed to Provincial Treasury for financial assistance.
Given the doubtfulness of an internal investigation ever taking place within the department, I am more convinced than ever before that SCOPA must pursue this matter. After my first referral of this matter to SCOPA in August this year fell on deaf ears, I have again written to SCOPA Chairperson, Alexandra Beukes, reiterating my request for an investigation.
I am of the view that, if SCOPA again willingly turns a blind eye to the Wilcovert matter, then SCOPA is making itself complicit in the misappropriation of funds, which will necessitate me to take action against SCOPA.
In the meantime, the DA has also referred the Wilcovert matter to the Public Protector.
The DA will not ignore blatant fraud and corruption. We will pursue all avenues available to ensure that those who abuse funds intended for service delivery are held to account, albeit four years later.
Boitumelo Babuseng MPL
DA Northern Cape Provincial Spokesperson of Finances
079 874 6179
Shelley De Witt
082 847 1387