South Africa: Cosatu Statement On the Gauteng Department of Education Spending R431 Million to Disinfect Schools Over a Three-Months Period

press release

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) in Gauteng is concerned about the alleged spending of R431 million by the Gauteng Department of Education on the decontamination of schools over a period of three months. Whilst we are worried about this development, we are however aware of the rate of infections in schools during the period between June to November 2020 and the regular closure of schools thereof.

COVID-19 corruption is alarming in the province and has resulted on some political casualties. COSATU will not fold its arms whilst the resources meant to fight the spread of coronavirus are stolen. Whilst we appreciate the openness and frankness by MEC Panyaza Lesufi and his assurance that the matter has been handed to law enforcement urgencies; we call Premier David Makhura as the leader of the Provincial Command Council and the leader of the Provincial Executive Committee to take the people of Gauteng into confidence.

He needs to provide a report on how the R431 million was spent and if adverse findings against individuals are found, processes to deal with such should be urgently invoked and such individuals should be suspended.

Further to taking the people of Gauteng into confidence, advancing clean governance and the fight against corruption, we call the Premier to initiate investigations in all GPG departments, state owned entities and to a larger extent municipalities on the procurement of personnel protective equipment. Cosatu will also engage with its affiliates to reflect on the scale of COVID-19 corruption in each department, municipality, and state-owned entities.

Our opposition to corruption is unwavering and we demand action and not words. This is a cancer that is suffocating and destroying this country.

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