The manager for the Department of Agriculture in Modimolle, Sammy Lebele. Photo: Lizzy Bapela

Department responds to DA allegations

 
 
 

Lizzy Bapela   l   Views: 113

The Department of Agriculture in Modimolle has said the required material to fence the perimeter of the Modimolle Red Meat Project was being purchased.

Departmental manager Sammy Lebele was responding to the DA in Limpopo, which expressed concern regarding the matter.

The DA went on a site visit, allegedly after the Portfolio Committee for Agriculture’s oversight visit was cancelled, with the opposition suspecting alleged fraudulent activity.

The DA party alleged that the ANC Limpopo cancelled the fencing overnight in an attempt to conceal fraud. 

DA spokesperson, Jacques Smalle, said the party was appalled at the alleged shoddy workmanship, and gross overpricing of the project, costing the taxpayer R1.48 million per kilometre.

“Several contractors in the area put the cost of such a fence at no more than R26 000 per kilometre. The materials were dumped near the site during July 2016, weeks before the municipal elections and the project came to a halt in March 2017. There were Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) workers on site who indicated that the project commenced again last week. This was a clear attempt at window-dressing after the DA exposed this project as daylight robbery,” said Smalle.

The leader alleged that instead of accounting for the alleged thievery, Lebele lashed out on Facebook to racialize the oversight visit to avoid attention as the implementing official. He added that the DA will continue to conduct oversight visits over the 71 fences that were erected by the Department during the last three financial years and expose the abuse of power to inflate costs of the fences.

In his response, Lebelo charged: “The DA went to the site and the storeroom and took pictures of the area which had not yet been fenced. They claim the budget for the fencing alone is R5. 69 million, but the actual budget is R4. 4 million, which includes drilling for water, animal handling facilities, provision of water tankers, as well as the fencing. 

“Yes, the material is being bought already and we have already fenced 4km and will continue the work throughout the current financial year. This is a multi-year project and the available material is estimated to fence up to 35km (of the perimeter.”

2 months ago       14 June 2017