The Democratic Alliance (DA) will request the Auditor-General (A-G) to investigate the bid adjudication process surrounding the procurement of the R8.3 million bronze statue of former president, Nelson Mandela, which was unveiled today in the provincial government precinct.
According to media reports, one of the rejected bids would have cost a total of R2.7 million but the provincial Department of Culture Sports and Recreation ultimately chose a company that charged over three times that amount.
Culture Sports and Recreation MEC, Thandi Shongwe, is no stranger to controversy related to hyper-inflated tenders as she has been linked to multiple inflated tenders during her time as Speaker of the Provincial Legislature.
The ANC in Mpumalanga has developed a tendency to use Nelson Mandela’s name and memory as a disguise for dubious financial dealings such as the R70 million given to Carol Bouwer’s Company for Nelson Mandela’s memorial services along with R5 million for a Nelson Mandela video commissioned by the Office of the Premier that has never seen the light of day.
The people of Mpumalanga continue to be burdened with rising unemployment, inadequate healthcare facilities and poor service delivery that has ensured that thousands of people remain in the clutches of poverty. All of this, while the provincial government choses to protect corruption and divert public money to projects that will not benefit the people of this province.
The DA is still awaiting a report from the Public Protector on the R70 million spent on Nelson Mandela’s memorial services. We will also write to the A-G to ensure that public money was not abused in the procurement of this statue.
The best way to honour Nelson Mandela is for this government to prioritise education, healthcare and the delivery of services to the people in order to build a united South Africa for all.
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