Mark Steele, MPP
Democratic Alliance KZN DA Scopa Member
Comments made recently by President Zuma that businesses that support the ANC will see their profits ‘multiply’ have rightly caused widespread alarm given the common public perception that corruption is rampant and that government tenders are rigged to favour party insiders. This is why it is imperative for the continued confidence of investors that the President denies emphatically that the ‘multiplication’ might be in any way due to preferential treatment for party supporters. Members of the provincial Scopa from all political parties have been unequivocal in their opposition to fraud and corruption. This committee passed no less than 76 resolutions in 2012 addressing financial maladministration and issues of non-compliance in all provincial departments and entities, including the unanimous finding that ‘a message of zero tolerance of fraud and corruption must be sent to government employees and service providers who are implicated in forensic audit reports’. The national leadership of the ruling party must support these declarations and stop trying to defend the indefensible – just admit the President made a mistake. The real work of Scopa this year must extend beyond the current range of audit findings and resolutions. We know that there is massive fraud going on in the way quotations are over-priced – the corrupt officials and their business partners take the top slice and the resultant work is either shoddy or totally non-existent. Either way, the intended recipients, and the taxpayers, get short-changed. We need to be demanding that every government contract over a reasonable minimum, say R1 million, be assessed to determine whether the state got full value for money or whether there were not unintended beneficiaries of the corrupt and fraudulent kinds.