South Africa: Makhura Guns for Officials Involved in Bosasa Irregularities in Gauteng

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18 February 2019

Gauteng Premier David Makhura has vowed not to leave allegations made at the Zondo commission of inquiry about irregular dealings between the provincial government and the controversial Bosasa company untested and has advised his provincial departments to review their business relationships with the company.

He said that the allegations coming out of the commission were too serious to ignore and should be paid attention to.

The Mail & Guardian reported that the controversial company - now known as African Global Operations (AGO) - benefitted from several deals with national and local government departments, including the Limpopo department of social development, the Gauteng department of education, the Northern Cape department of arts and culture and the national Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

Makhura said that in Gauteng he would ensure that those implicated and found to have done wrong would be brought to book.

The premier made this announcement at his final State of the Province Address of his five-year term at the Alberton Civic Centre on Monday.

Makhura also revealed that during his term, his administration had created at least 30 000 jobs and attracted almost R200bn in foreign direct investments.

He hailed his government for "strengthening the fight against corruption", and creating much-needed jobs.

Ramaphosa working on e-tolls solution

He also touched on the thorny e-tolls issue, and said that "there is clear recognition that urban tolling increases the cost of living and is therefore unsustainable".

"Proceeding from this consensus, government teams are hard at work to find a solution to the e-tolls. President (Cyril) Ramaphosa has just reassured me again that the resolution of e-tolls matter is one of the issues that are receiving his urgent national attention," said the premier.

More importantly, the Council advised the provincial government in how to deal with allegations of unethical business practices levelled against service providers such as KPMG, McKinsey and SAP.#GPSOPA19-- GautengGov (@GautengProvince) February 18, 2019

Makhura also turned his attention to VBS-linked municipalities in Gauteng and said that he was awaiting the outcome of a forensic investigation into the matter instituted by the provincial treasury.

He said that the report would eventually allow him to take "appropriate action against those responsible".

Merafong and West Rand are the two municipalities that have done business with VBS Mutual Bank in Gauteng.

The municipalities, along with 12 others in the country, deposited about R1.5bn into the now defunct mutual bank.

The premier has also asked the municipalities to lift restrictions on small businesses.

"There are complaints from businesses and cooperatives that some of the by-laws and regulations impede the growth of township businesses.

"I call upon all municipalities to urgently amend their regulations and by-laws so that they can facilitate and promote the growth of township businesses," Makhura said.

Makhura has also blamed rapid urbanisation and the high rate of migration to the province for the slow pace in the delivery of houses.

"In response to this challenge, we have introduced mega human settlements projects aimed at bringing in private sector partners in the construction of new post-apartheid cities."

The premier said there were 31 "mega human settlements" planned for Gauteng in the next five years, and that 10 were already under construction.

"These projects will contribute significantly to reducing the housing backlog," he said.

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