South Africa: DA to Request Scopa Inquiry Into R16 Billion in Irregular Payments At Prasa

The DA will request a full-scale investigation by the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) into R16,04 billion in irregular payments discovered through the Auditor General's (AG) Financial Management Report that was circulated internally within the offices of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa).

The AG's findings include:

R5.5 billion for supply, delivery and installation of the Integrated Station Access Management Solution was awarded to a bidder without following due process;

- R209 million for the provision and installation of security fences at Prasa depots nationally was awarded to a bidder without a fair and transparent evaluation process being conducted;

- R7.5 billion was issued without a procurement process;

- R240 million was awarded through various contracts without applying the preference point system;

- R59 million was awarded to a bidder without a fair and transparent evaluation process being conducted;

- R2.5 billion was paid by Prasa when appointing a bidder for a period of 5 years. This is in excess of the prescribed contract period of 3 years; and

- R35 million in payments made to a bidder exceeded the total contract contrary to the terms of the contract; and

- R3 million in extra payments were made to Prasa board members without approval by the Department of Transport;

The billions wasted due to irregularities in procurement processes at Prasa add salt to the wounds of the poor and jobless. Money wasted, paid for by ordinary South Africans, could have been better used on job creating initiatives and delivering better services to our communities.

It is high-time that the Minister of Transport, Dipuo Peters, shed light on the progress of her independent investigation into the findings of both the Public Protector and the AG. Although it is not expedient to rush the investigation, the DA strongly urges the Minister to release any interim feedback from the investigation, as billions have disappeared without due process.

In the interim, a fresh investigation by SCOPA is needed to get to the bottom of this latest damning evidence of gross maladministration at Prasa.

The DA will continue to fight for and ensure that implicated government officials, as well as ANC-cronies, are held accountable for their abuse of state resources. The people of South Africa deserve better than a government that is only concerned about enriching its friends.

Source: Democratic Alliance.