DA welcomes investigation into alleged tender irregularities in Mpumalanga tourism project

Issued by Bosman Grobler MPL – Spokesperson on Finance & Economic Development
15 May 2024 in Press Releases

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Mpumalanga welcomes the appointment of an investigator on the suspicion of corruption and tender irregularities between Siphelele General Trading (SGT) and the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA). This multimillion contract was set to renovate the GEOTRAILS Viewpoints at the Makhonjwa Mountains in Barberton.

In September 2023, MTPA awarded SGT a R12,1 million contract to renovate the GEOTRAILS. After renovations began, questions started arising about the R12.1 million costs of renovations – because the GEOTRAILS were built from scratch in 2013 by the Barberton Chamber of Business (BCB) for only R4 million. MTPA was also accused of doing renovations at the GEOTRAILS without consulting the BCB and owners of the land where the GEOTRAILS were constructed.

In January this year, MTPA undertook to suspend renovations at the site until all legalities were followed, and landowners consulted. But to their surprise, landowners found out recently that renovations were continuing. MTPA was eventually interdicted through court processes. The matter event reached the office of the Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, Barbara Creecy, who decided to appoint an investigator to investigate if proper tender processes were followed.

The Barberton World Heritage Site has been plagued by corruption from the very beginning, with MTPA appointing themselves as the manager of this site even though it was made abundantly clear by the property owners that they did not want MTPA managing this site.

The ANC-led Government in Mpumalanga has shown the residents that they are willing to stop at nothing to enrich themselves and their cronies.


The DA hopes that this investigation by the Minister is independent and non-biased, and if any government official, politician or businessman is implicated, they must face the full might of the law.

Currently, MTPA has many multimillion-rand projects happening simultaneously, and more projects have been added even though Minister Creecy made it clear that she intended to appoint an investigator on the projects.