Public Protector asked to probe distribution of Free State drought aid

2017-01-12 10:43
(iStock)

(iStock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Bloemfontein - The DA has asked the Public Protector to investigate the distribution of drought aid in the Free State, following allegations of corruption.

Money for aid and fodder which was distributed to help farmers affected by the crippling drought apparently ended up in the pockets of people with powerful friends, the DA's Roy Jankielsohn has said.

In 2015, the Free State received R45m in drought aid meant for emerging farmers, Netwerk24 reported.

Agents were paid to sign deals with suppliers, who would then deliver the fodder.

"They basically were paid to make a few phone calls," said Jankielsohn, a member of the Free State legislature.  

Some agents apparently claimed up to 30% from the money meant for fodder.  

'Fodder exchanged for cattle'

The DA said the department of agriculture could have done the work itself, but instead agents were appointed to milk the system. The agents had previously received a 10% commission.

Jankielsohn also accused the department of giving drought aid to people who didn't qualify for it.

"The DA has proof of one such case in which a person who'd received fodder tried to sell it to commercial farmers or exchange it for cattle. This has already been brought to the Public Protector's attention."  

He said it was an indictment on the Free State government that much-needed drought aid, which was supposed to help farmers who had been hardest hit, was being abused to enrich a few. It couldn't have been done without the co-operation of officials who had to determine which farmers needed the help most, he said.

Agriculture spokesperson Zimasa Mbewu said the department would respond to the claims in full on Thursday. 

Read more on:    public protector  |  da  |  bloemfontein  |  drought  |  government spending  |  corruption

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.