by Boitumelo Babuseng – DA Northern Cape Provincial Spokesperson of SCOPA
Date: 11 December 2017
Type: Press Statement
The DA will request the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) to investigate the seemingly endless supply of funding for the Sol Plaatje Cleaning project by the provincial Roads and Public Works Department. This comes amidst an additional R12 million cash injection, through the recent adjustment appropriation budget, for the multi-million rand EPWP project.
For the past four years, the Sol Plaatje Cleaning project has been on the receiving end of millions of rands from the Roads and Public Works Department.
For the same period, the Sol Plaatje Cleaning project has also consistently been the cause of excessive over-expenditure within the department. In fact, the over-expenditure on this single project has been to the detriment of other community based projects, for which there has been consistent underperformance by the department.
Given the lethal combination of over-expenditure and underperformance, as well as a resolution made by this department earlier this year to ensure proper planning in respect of the Sol Plaatje Cleaning project in future, the DA cannot understand why the project has received yet another windfall.
In the current financial year, not only was the department’s EPWP grant money of R3,834 million allocated for Sol Plaatje’s “community based programmes”, but the department also allocated an extra R37,166 million from its equitable share for so called “poverty alleviation projects” in Sol Plaatje. The additional Christmas bonus of R12 million, now puts the total amount allocated to Sol Plaatje for 2017/2018, presumably for its cleaning project, at R53 million.
This is an extensive amount of funding for one EPWP project, for which there is a visible lack of skills transfer, there are zero exit strategies for participants, and there is little to show for the project, except intermittent and unsustainable clean-ups in and around Kimberley.
This is also an overly generous handout from a department that ironically owes the very same municipality close to R400 million in outstanding rates and taxes money, but only receives funding of R53 million per annum for rates and taxes payments.
The DA will write to SCOPA Chairperson, Alexandra Beukes, requesting that an investigation be launched into the expenditure of all funds allocated by the Department of Roads & Public Works to Sol Plaatje.
EPWP is a worthy cause, intended to create hope amongst the jobless and the disillusioned. It must not be allowed to be misused by individuals for their own personal gain, nor should it serve as a cover for party political agendas that aspire to gain political patronage at the cost of creating true opportunities for those who have nothing.
DA Northern Cape Provincial Spokesperson of SCOPA
079 874 6179
Shelley De Witt
082 847 1387