Is Edusolutions Using Department As A Slush Fund?

James Masango MPL

DA Mpumalanga Provincial Chief Whip of the Official Opposition.

Mpumalanga Education MEC Reginah Mhaule has failed to disclose full details of all payments her department made to EduSolutions, despite written questions requesting her to do so.

The DA submitted the written questions following the discovery and disclosure of a series of unusual payments to EduSolutions, hoping to gain clarity as to why the service provider would be paid millions during a period when little or no orders and deliveries would take place and why, according to DA sources, EduSolutions had been declared a priority creditor by the department’s CFO.

MEC Mhaule only disclosed payments from the inception of the contract in November last year until the end of March 2012, and chose to ignore the following months, leaving over R120 million unaccounted for.

While the MEC denies the priority status of EduSolutions, she has admitted that the department pays all creditors depending on the department’s cash flow. Ironically, the department never seems to have a cash flow problem when an EduSolutions invoice is received, while other creditors have been waiting for payment for up to six months.

To this end, the DA calls on all service providers of the department, who have not been paid, to make contact with the DA, in order to expose the department’s hypocrisy.

While MEC Mhaule has indicated that she may consider an independent forensic probe into the department’s relationship with EduSolutions, the findings of such a probe could be highly editorialised, given her selective answers to DA questions.

We will therefore write to finance MEC Yvonne Phosa as head of the Provincial Treasury and request intervention in the finances of the education department, and launch investigations of their own. It would be grossly irresponsible for the Provincial Treasury to allow the continuation of a clearly questionable relationship.

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