Parliament, Wednesday, 03 June 2020 – The Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) is not satisfied with the information provided by the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure on the Beitbridge Border Fence contract.
The fence is projected to cost R37million, of which R21 million has been paid so far. The committee supports the directive from law enforcement that no further money be paid on this project until all investigations are completed.
The committee has raised a concern with the lack of answers to questions posed at today’s meeting with both the Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure and the department. It is clear from the presentations made on this issue that there are questions that need to be answered around value for money, due diligence, competence and the selection process of the contractor for this project.
Scopa awaits the report of the National Treasury on this matter due next Friday, which will be the basis of the committee’s work moving forward. The committee is aware that the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has been to the project and has conducted assessments. The committee has asked the department to furnish it with the SIU report as soon as it is available. Scopa is also aware that the Auditor-General has been requested to conduct a special audit of the project. Therefore, Scopa will also liaise with the Office of the Auditor-General on this matter.
The committee also plans to conduct its own oversight visit to the project as soon as conditions allow, so that it can satisfy itself on the condition of the fence before compiling a report on the matter. At the next engagement on this matter, Scopa will call the Department of Defence and the Department of Home Affairs to be present to respond to the extent of their involvement on this project. Scopa will also call the project manager responsible for this project to be present to detail their method of operation.
ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE CHAIRPERSON OF SCOPA, MR MKHULEKO HLENGWA.