by Andrew Louw – DA Northern Cape Premier Candidate
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Date: 18 October 2018
The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Northern Cape has reported our suspicion of corruption in the form of the double-dipping of officials from the Department of Roads & Public Works, to the Office of the Public Protector for investigation.
This comes after the department continues to shy away from providing the legislature portfolio committee with a detailed breakdown of salaries and all other payments made by itself and the Northern Cape Fleet Management Trading Entity (NCFMTE), to officials who are working for both the department and the entity.
Our suspicions were first raised last year, during the Annual Report presentation of the department, when it came to light that the entity was receiving “services in kind” from employees of the department who were not contracted to the entity. Amounts ranging between R12 million and R14 million were reported as payments for “services in kind” for each of the past three years. At the same time, just three senior managers from the department, who are involved in both the department and the entity, have been mentioned.
Failure by the department to provide clarity on this matter leaves the DA with no option but to assume that these officials have been receiving questionably high payments from the NCFMTE, in addition to their regular salaries, for their dual roles and that they deliberately do not want to account to the committee.
If that is the case, it amounts to corruption and gross abuse of public funds.
While the committee has requested the department to resubmit a breakdown of salaries paid to staff employed in the NCFMTE, we have little faith that, after a year of us asking for the same breakdown, they will actually present us with true and comprehensive information.
The DA will not allow the department to pull the wool over our eyes and we will not let the matter rest until all has been laid bare on the table. We will thus refer the matter to the Office of the Public Protector for an independent investigation.
The NCFMTE has the important job of ensuring that all government departments have operational vehicles so that service delivery across all departments can continue. If the entity is being mismanaged, services will also be of an inferior quality.
Only change under a DA-led government will ensure that entities are managed in an open and transparent manner, that does not allow funds to be siphoned away from key services, into the pockets of greedy officials.