Minister hampers public works, DA says

2011-10-03 21:22

Cape Town - Public Works Minister Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde's continued presence at the department was preventing it from completing the reforms needed to turn it around, says Democratic Alliance shadow Public Works Minister John Steenhuizen.

Reacting to the tabling of the department of public works annual report in Parliament on Monday, Steenhuizen said the fact that the Auditor General could not even form an opinion of the financial statements was a powerful illustration of the disarray at the department.

"The extent of the mismanagement in the public works department was recently highlighted by the public protector in her report into the two controversial SAPS lease deals.

The minister of public works, Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde, was found by the public protector to have acted in a way that was unlawful, improper and amounted to misconduct," Steenhuizen said.

He said Mahlangu-Mkabinde had used several tactics to avoid taking responsibility for the mess in her department.

These, Steenhuizen said, included: her failure, on two occasions, to appear before the public works portfolio committee to explain her involvement in the SAPS lease deal saga; an attempt to blame her department's disarray on her predecessors, saying that she "inherited a poisoned chalice";

Shifting the blame to the department's acting director general (AG), who has subsequently been suspended; and failing to co-operate with the public protector's investigation into the SAPS lease deals

Major problems noted by the AG included: unauthorised and irregular expenditure to the tune of R16.5m; a lack of audit evidence regarding the Department's immovable assets register; the department's involvement in a public private partnership for the leasing of vehicles that could not be verified or accounted for.

Material underspending of the budget and conditional grants; material losses of some R54.8m; an inability to obtain evidence of some R1.3bn worth of capital transactions reported in the department's books; an inability to obtain evidence of some R819m worth of goods and service-related transactions reported in the department's books.

  • Grant Hide - 2011-10-03 21:28

    So how many houses could have been built? almost 2billions worth.

      Fred - 2011-10-03 22:19

      She is a typical example of cadre deployment. The ANC doesn't care about the poor, just about enriching themselves as quickly as possible. The biggest pig-snouts in the world.

      James Weather - 2011-10-03 22:19

      26 667 RDP houses .... Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde must go .... She has proved her uselessness as a public servant and should stand trial for the loss of billions of tax payers money!

      k1dbl4ck - 2011-10-03 22:24

      she sure looks like she can eat'a da cheekan.

      The lost Emperor - 2011-10-04 07:17

      It is funny how you can see incompetence in someone's eyes. That blank blissfully unaware ignorant stare.

      IsThatAFact - 2011-10-04 08:41

      Forget about the RDP houses improve education, improve the economy, create jobs and start teaching people to help themselves to improve their lives. Many of the RDP houses are falling apart because its another way of making friends and family extremely rich at the expense of the poor.

  • gatvol4corru - 2011-10-03 21:33

    Besides being incompetent,lazy,corrupt,plain stupid,she is a thieve! Get rid of her ugliness!

  • ProudlyKgomo - 2011-10-03 21:37

    Get rid of this pathetic clown!

  • so mouse - 2011-10-03 21:39

    She doesn't look very clever or intellegent.

      Druce - 2011-10-03 21:51

      she is cleva - her brain is devided into 2 parts, on da left side noting is right and on da right side noting is left

  • Ripley - 2011-10-03 21:46

    Which Minister knows anything about financial management let alone the basics of good governance and internal controls ? Rest assured that the only books this lady is familiar with are cheque books - someone else's.

  • Bokke - 2011-10-03 21:48

    This year they get a disclaimer, last year it was same thing, a year before that.... every year...!!! Come on, seriously is that a gud way of running Govt?? Come on Mr President, U said U will "fight corruption", did that exclude Dept. of Public Works?? It always get disclaimer!!! This is going to continue until when?? Fire all the officials.... from the Minister herself!!! Its obvious that they don't know what they are doing!! We can't blame apartheid for this!!

      DW - 2011-10-04 08:10

      Whilst I agree that she should be fired for signing off on the leases soon after joining the department, she is actually right that she was handed a poisoned chalice. She was not there when the bulk of the R2.5bn deals were done. Her predecessor SHOULD also be held accountable.

  • Rightway - 2011-10-03 21:49

    Why is this useless corrupt AA appointee still here. Any government worth its salt would have fired her.

  • disappointed - 2011-10-03 22:06

    It seems to me that 90% of anc ministers should not even be employed as gardeners never mind cabinet posts,its unbelievable that such incompetence is tolerated,99% of the workers in the private sector including general workers could probably do a better job than these loud mouth slogan shouting MPs

  • Sisie - 2011-10-04 07:48

    OMG this woman is a thoroughbred incompetent. I certainly wouldn't give her my wallet to look after - never mind Public Works. Maybe she is of the impression that one she is the public and she works so therefore the money belongs to her and her buddies. Fire her without recompense.

  • croix - 2011-10-04 07:48

    Those who think that the department is a "total mess" or in "disarray" should rethink - IMO the chaos is carefully planned and nurtured to be 'impenetrable' by investigators, so we need highly-qualified forensic teams to be independently funded ............ I know, I know - when I wake up, my coffee will be ice-cold!

  • Terrence - 2011-10-04 07:50

    Do we have ANY capable people in government? Wanna play 'Where's Wally?' or 'Where's the capable minister?'

  • letsee - 2011-10-04 08:01

    The DA may be right or wrong but ANC ministers seem to have ANC plans and not South African plans.

  • muttlet - 2011-10-04 08:04

    For all the good the DA does, they really drop the ball when pointing out stealing of public funds. Before you start to edge your mouse to the dislike button read further. For someone earning a thousand rand a month or even less, their brains are not capable of conceptualizing how much two billion rand is. You might as well say a quadrillion. For the DA to win at the expense of ANC graft, thievry and inconpetence, they must do the following: 1. Determine (which I sure they have done) which areas of the country are politically on the fence from provincial to the lowest level. 2. Then drive home the message to the lowest level. 3. Gather a township together. If 2 billion Rand = 1 million homes (just a random number, I have no idea how many it equates to) then address the crowd accordingly. Ask the crowd, how many do not have a house of their own (many hands are raised). "You would have a home if 2 billion was not stolen from the government" End the speech by saying, "we are not here to convince you to vote DA, We are here to open your eyes to how your money is being spent. By all means keep vote for whatever party you want, but expect them to work for you not the other way around. This applies to the DA, ANC, IFP, etc." Then walk off the stage, drive to the next town. This message can only be delivered at the lowest level. If done on the national level, the message is lost in all the noise.

      PB - 2011-10-04 08:27

      Good idea, muttlet. Something that could be added to getting the message accross, is getting a heap of Monopoly money (in R100 denominations) representing R2 billion or whatever amount similar to what has been stolen by the anc-chommies (again). Then audience will get a better idea of the size of the corruption.

  • MnrFotograaf - 2011-10-04 08:14

    The public trpotector is an advocate and should just take this to a court herself.

  • Jantjieman - 2011-10-04 08:17

    Another South African embarrassment ...

  • jen - 2011-10-04 08:21

    Someone should publish a list of the government, their portfolios and qualifications. it should make for interesting reading.

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