According to a City Press report over the weekend, three reports compiled by National Treasury’s Special Audit Services reveal that between 2011 and 2017, R 1,6-billion was stolen from the people of the Eastern Cape. This money was originally earmarked for mobile classrooms, roads and social housing, but instead found its way to the pockets of officials to buy fancy cars, smart clothes and for wining and dining at expensive restaurants.
This is where the money went while the people of the Eastern Cape suffer.
The province has the highest unemployment rate in the country; has a R100-billion backlog on roads maintenance; lack of housing is at an all-time high; the Department of Health is dropping the ball due to excessive medico-legal claims; the Department of Education has failed to put teachers and textbooks in classrooms, in fact, they have failed to supply adequate classrooms for decades and maladministration, corruption and fraud in general in the Eastern Cape is rife.
These allegations, contained in the special audit reports, are an indictment not just on the former Department of Roads and Public Works, the Department of Human Settlements and the Department of Economic Development as well as state-owned entities such as the Independent Development Trust (IDT), South African National Roads Agency (SANRAL) and Coega Development Corporation (CDC) but the entire ANC-led provincial government.
The DA in the Eastern Cape has written to the Speaker, Noxolo Kiviet, to demand that the Treasury Special Audit reports that outlines the looting of R1.6-billion from the Eastern Cape’s coffers be tabled at a sitting of the Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature through the Finance Committee. If an investigation proves these allegations, the guilty parties must be criminally prosecuted and the Province must take steps to claim back the looted funds.
This is clearly a symptom of a government that has lost touch with its people and is failing to deliver services. It points to complete maladministration, fraud and corruption. The only way for the people of the Eastern Cape to be rid of these shameful acts of looting of funds that was supposed to be for serving the needs of the people in this province is to remove the ANC from the government at the ballot box in 2019.
The DA is the only party that can bring change to the Eastern Cape based on the values of freedom, fairness, opportunity and diversity. Only a DA-led government will ensure that the people’s money is used to empower and build communities, create jobs and deliver quality services.
Vicky Knoetze, MPL
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