The Eastern Cape Premier’s reply to my question relating to provincial expenditure on memorial services for Nelson Mandela deliberately avoids providing any substantial information. In contrast, the front page in the Daily Dispatch today, quotes an Eastern Cape Development Corporation spokesperson confirming that to date that R22,2 million has been paid out. According to reports, R775 000 was paid to McDonalds and KFC as wells as R5 million to a supplier for T-shirts and golf shirts. This is in conflict with treasury regulations.
Why was this information not provided to me in the Premier’s reply? Either she did not know what funds are being mismanaged under her nose or the information is being withheld from her because of a cover-up. What are the true facts, madam Premier?
On the face of it, huge profits appear to have been made: 50 000 T-shits should cost in the region of R25 each and a golf shirt R120. The cost of 50 000 T-shirts would then be R1,25 million and 3 500 golf shirts R420 000. The total cost should therefore be in the region of R1,670 million (without profits). According to the newspaper reports, the suppler received R5 million. The DA wants to know what the actual cost was, per T-shirt.
What makes the whole situation worse is that the money came from an infrastructure grant of R330 million for running water, electricity, sanitation and the replacement of mud schools and hospitals in the part of the province where service delivery is most desperately needed, namely the former Transkei. We shouldn’t be taking money for hospitals to spend on take-aways.
The DA supported arrangements to pay tribute to former President Nelson Mandela. We believed he needed to be honoured in a dignified manner. The BCM taxi scandal and these recent revelations is indicative of how far the current ANC government has strayed from the values of Nelson Mandela.
The DA welcomes the suspension of ECDC CEO Sithembile Mase and the investigation by the Hawks into this scandal. The sheer scale of the misuse of these funds and blatant disregard for everything Nelson Mandela stood for, is beyond words. Shame on you, Madam Premier, shame on you, ANC.
The DA will be asking follow-up question to determine the exact amounts spent and the nature of the expenditure.
Bobby Stevenson, MPL
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