30 May 2017
The Democratic Alliance has requested that the Standing Committee on Public Accounts at the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature must investigate serious allegations of financial mismanagement at the Northern Cape Department of Economic Development & Tourism.
Recent media reports have once again highlighted concerns about potential abuse at the department, specifically as it relates to the Economic Growth and Development Fund. This is not the first time that serious questions are asked about the fund’s management and the time has come for the Legislature to investigate.
The Standing Committee on Public Accounts has a specific mandate to scrutinize the financial reports from departments and to determine whether or not funds allocated to the department are being utilized appropriately. While the investigation from the Hawks will determine if there was criminal wrongdoing, the investigation from SCOPA will be broader and can establish if the correct procedures are in place to prevent further mismanagement and future abuse.
The fund has been embroiled in too much controversy for the Legislature to ignore. Questionable transactions include the Diamond Bed Factory, the biscuit factory in Douglas and numerous benefits to politically connected individuals. We cannot allow that a fund meant to support SMMEs functions as a vehicle for personal enrichment.
The new chairperson of SCOPA, Pauline Williams, must show a commitment to accountability and must prioritise this investigation.
With a provincial unemployment rate of 43%, every cent must go towards creating an environment conducive to job creation and economic growth. We simply cannot afford an administration which channels funds to the politically connected elite while the poor become poorer.
Adv Boitumelo Babuseng, MPL
DA Provincial Spokesperson for Economic Affairs
082 302 2117 / 079 874 6179
071 251 5558