R22 million later Dr JS Moroka Agri-hub still clouded in mystery

By: Bosman Grobler MPL, Spokesperson on Agriculture, Rural Development, Land and Environment Affairs

Agriculture, Rural Development, Land and Environment Affairs (DARDLEA) MEC, Vusi Shongwe has failed to provide details on what is needed to complete the Agri-Hub in Dr JS Moroka Local Municipality which has remained statistic at 90% completion for nearly 3 years.

According to MEC Shongwe’s responses to a DA question, R22.2 million out of a R30 million budget has already been spent on the construction of just one building, but during our oversight inspection to the area, we found that the structure was not only far from being 90% complete, it was unlikely to have cost R22.2 million.

The R30 million budgeted for the hub were sourced from the following entities;

  • Dr JS Moroka MIG R13.6 million
  • DARDLEA R6.1 million
  • MEGA R2.3 million
  • Municipal Council R8 million

Along with being unable to give details as to what more was needed to make that single structure an actual agricultural hub, MEC Shongwe couldn’t give reasons as to why the projects had experienced so many delays, when they expected it to be 100% complete and how much more money would be needed to finally complete the hub.

When completed, the 3 Agri-hubs will supposedly supply fresh produce to the Mpumalanga International Fresh Produce Market for international distribution.

Like the Mpumalanga International Fresh Produce Market, these Agri-hubs are showing signs of following the ANC in Mpumalanga’s trend of starting big capital projects with no clear and concrete plan. This act allows for impact assessment studies to be conducted multiple times, tenders bids to be rigged and supplier databases to be manipulated.

The agricultural sector is one of Mpumalanga’s biggest employers so it is vital that any project geared towards creating sustainable jobs is managed efficiently and any indication of corruption is rooted out before it affects the project and job creation.

In our commitment to creating jobs and rooting out corruption as we continue to Build One South Africa For All, the DA will continue to push for answers on these Agri-hubs and all other government projects that are established for the purpose of looting state coffers.

Ends.

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Sydney Masinga

Provincial Communications Officer

060 971 4297