The Democratic Alliance (DA) has called on the Portfolio Committee Chairperson on Public Works, Infrastructure, Roads, Transport and Humans Settlements, to extend its oversight arm to the fullest capacity.
This comes after it was revealed that the Free State Department of Police, Roads and Transport paid advances to two companies amounting to a total of R182 million, despite a Bloemfontein High Court order prohibiting the department from appointing any service providers. The two companies are alleged to have been appointed to carry out road works in the areas of Dewetsdorp, Koppies, Deneysville, Tweeling and Reitz and have as yet not delivered any tangible work for the monies paid.
The Department has continuously underperformed in its delivery of decent road infrastructure to the province, leading to the advanced decay of the province’s road networks. Businesses are largely dependent on roads to receive and distribute goods. Where roads are not properly maintained, economies suffer. The Department continues to neglect its responsibility to ensure a sound road network, the impact of which is experienced in the pockets of ordinary residents of the Free State.
The DA will continue to place pressure on the committee to do physical oversight visits to these roads projects and get clarity on the payments. If it is determined that wrongdoing has occurred, the DA will approach the relevant authorities to ensure that those who have played a role in alleged irregular payments face the consequences.