- What was meant to be a project to help secure South Africa's borders has now exploded into controversy
- The R37 million budget to repair and build fencing along the Zimbabwean border is once again in the spotlight
- Public Works Minister Patricia de Lille has called for an investigation into her department's project
The drama surrounding the R37 million project to secure the border between South Africa and Zimbabwe has escalated.
Public Works Minister Patricia de Lille has called for a probe into the project initiated as part of her department's response to the Covid-19 crisis.
De Lille has asked auditor-general Kimi Makwetu to conduct an urgent, independent audit into the situation:
“In the spirit of transparency and accountability, I am asking the auditor-general to immediately commence with an external audit of the process followed by the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure in terms of the 40km Beitbridge border fence project."
Zara Nicholson, the minister's spokesperson, revealed that R21 million has already been handed over to the contractor for work done on the project.
Briefly.co.za reported that the President of the Mining Forum of South Africa Blessings Ramoba slammed the project, sharing a photo of a meagre-looking barbed wire fence and commenting that:
"Apparently work has started to construct a 40-kilometre border fence along the Beitbridge border between SA & Zimbabwe in Limpopo. The Dept of Public Works allocated R37 million for the job. Look what is being constructed. What a joke! We are not safe, we need proper fencing."
Herman Mashaba has also weighed in on the situation, a fierce advocate against illegal immigrants in SA:
"This nonsense that has gone on at the border, with the R37 million fence, has made something very clear. Despite the crisis we are facing, our money, public money is still being wasted at every opportunity. Heads must roll, Patricia De Lille!"
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