No Benefit for Rural Community as Department Fails

Veliswa Mvenya MPL

DA Eastern Cape Shadow MEC for Rural Development and Agrarian Reform

Poor control of government-funded projects by the Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform and the controversial Ntinga Development Agency is contributing to wasteful expenditure in the OR Tambo District Municipality.

During a visit yesterday (subs: Tuesday, 18 Sept) to Mthokwane in the Ngqeleni Municipality I was informed by the local community that a shed that was erected by Ntinga last year but then allegedly stripped by a local ANC PR councillor remains a useless skeleton.

The corrugated iron shed was built to provide local farmers with storage facilities for their equipment, seed and produce before it goes to the local market.

Failure to monitor government-funded projects such as this one subsequently results in corruption and wasteful expenditure of taxpayer’s money while poor, rural communities continue to benefit very little from government programmes.

The community alleges that an ANC PR councillor, whose name has been forwarded to me, stripped the structure and took the corrugated iron panels to his house to use for his own purposes. Community members contacted the DA earlier this year complaining about this purported cruel and corrupt act. At the time he allegedly promised the community that he would bring the panels back, which until now is said to still be in his yard. For a photograph of the shed, click here.

I have submitted parliamentary questions to Agriculture MEC Zoleka Capa to determine whether the alleged theft of the panels is being investigated and what, if any, monitoring systems her department uses to ensure that projects are functional.

While Ntinga’s and the Department’s mandate is to eradicate poverty in OR Tambo through agriculture, both are also contributing to the high rate of poverty by wasting the minimal resources that are there to uplift the communities of that municipality by their failure to monitor their projects. Denying the poor access to basic services cannot be tolerated.

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