Covid-19 update: R37 million border fence dubbed wasteful expenditure

Covid-19 update: R37 million border fence dubbed wasteful expenditure

A R37 million project to strengthen SA's borders during the pandemic has been dubbed a waste and unfit for its purpose. explores the latest updates on the Covid-19 crisis in SA.

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As the nation's attention shifts from increasing cases to squandered relief funding, a project to strengthen the country's borders is in the spotlight.

The R37 million project to reinforce the Beitbridge border line has been dubbed a waste by Parliamentary committees. explores the latest updates on the pandemic below:

Covid-19 update: R37 million border fence dubbed wasteful expenditure

The fence cost just under R1 million per KM to build. Image: Patricia De Lille/ Twitter
Source: UGC

READ ALSO: EFF warns shoppers it won't be safe to support Clicks during protests

1. R37 million fence 'not fit for purpose'

As part of the government's response to Covid-19, emphasis was placed on reinforcing the nation's borders.

This saw a R37 million project to reinforce the SA-Zimbabwe border at Beitbridge with a new fence, but the endeavour was soon marredby controversy.

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Images of a pitiful wire fence emerged online, prompting an investigation into the project, which cost just under R1 million per kilometre of fencing.

Three different Parliamentary Portfolio Committees have since conducted in-loco inspections and determined that the fence is not fit for its intended purpose, reports eNCA. The committees have labelled the fence wasteful expenditure, noting that substandard materials had been utilised.

Another embarrassing observation was that the secondary fence, built nearly four decades ago, is in better condition.

The Special Investigations Unit has been asked to probe the matter and to begin the process to recover the funds spent on the project.

Public Works Minister Patricia De Lille, who gave the order to appoint a service provider, has committed to subjecting herself to Parliament to take account for the tender.

READ ALSO: Mining forum boss slams R37m Zimbabwe fence project: What a joke!

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2. Mkhize provides latest Covid-19 statistics

Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has provided South Africans with an update on the latest Covid-19 statistics.

The minister confirmed that over 1 600 new infections were recorded in the past 24 hours:

"As of today, a cumulative total of 638 517 confirmed Covid-19 cases in South Africa have been recorded with 1 633 new cases identified."

Mkhize also noted that 110 new Covid-19 fatalities were reported during the same period:

"Regrettably, we report 110 more Covid-19 related deaths: 31 from KwaZulu-Natal, 24 from Gauteng, 7 from Eastern Cape, 9 from Free State, 1 from Western Cape and 38 from Mpumalanga. This brings the total number of Covid-19-related deaths to 14 889."

The provincial breakdown of cases is as follows:

  • Eastern Cape - 86 849
  • Free State - 39 781
  • Gauteng - 212 898
  • KwaZulu-Natal - 114 824
  • Limpopo - 13 734
  • Mpumalanga - 25 076
  • North West - 26 245
  • Northern Cape - 11 923
  • Western Cape - 107 187
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In other news, reported that the Economic Freedom Fighters have warned shoppers that it won't be 'safe' for them to support Clicks during the course of this week.

The Red Berets have snubbed warnings from the company's lawyers and embarked on a nationwide protest.

This comes in response to a scandal involving a highly offensive advert which made negative comments about African hair.

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