The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Mpumalanga welcomes the investigation by the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) into the repairs and maintenance projects in the Mpumalanga Department of Education.
The Auditor General (AG) mentioned in his audit report for the 2019/2020 financial year, that the SIU is investigating the repairs and maintenance projects at schools in Mpumalanga. The SIU has also instructed the department not to process any further payments in relation to the projects under investigation until further notice.
Recently the DA reported the Mpumalanga Department of Education to the Public Protector over discrepancies that involved maintenance and repair projects.
Matsamo Primary Schools’ project was to demolish 10 pit toilets and replace it with 28 flush toilets. The project started on 1 September 2019 and was completed on 28 February 2020. The final account was paid on 1 June 2020 and the total cost of the project was more than R2.6 million. However, upon further engagement with parents and after being sent photos, it is evident that there are no flush toilets which have been built to date at the school.
The DA also received information that an engineer from the Mpumalanga Department of Education submitted evidence that infrastructure projects that have been carried out at various schools do not fit the scope of work in the infrastructure reports.
Another school in Kabokweni, Entokozweni Primary School project cost doubled to R4.8 million, without the scope of the project changing.
The DA will submit questions to the department requesting further information regarding the SIU investigation.