A total of 71% of the Limpopo budget for building leases goes to companies linked to one person

Desiree van der Walt MPL

DA Limpopo Spokesperson on SCOPA

71% of Limpopo leases budget goes to one person.

This is according to a Public Works report currently before the legislature’s Public Accounts Committee.

According to the report, R1.3 billion of the total provincial budget of R1.8 billion is paid to companies where Mr. Demetrios Kourtoumbellide is either the director or shareholder.

This amounts to a monthly lease value of R17.2 million. Mr. Kourtoumbellide’s buildings comprise 7 of the 92 provincial government leases and run for 10 – 14 years each.

The DA is submitting questions to the Public Works Department to establish whether the bids to lease these buildings were open to the public.

When the DA probed why there appears to be few companies (3 in all) from which the department leases property, the response from the department was that these are the only property dealers in Polokwane.

This was rather a curious response.

There is nothing which bars the department from doing business with other property developers who happen to be based outside of Polokwane as long as it is cost effective and saves public money.

Who were the other bidders in the process and what were their costs compared to those of companies associated with Mr. Kourtoumbellide’ companies?

In the DA’s vision of an Open Opportunity Society for All government contracts must be awarded as widely as possible in order to benefit as many local business people as possible. This is especially the case with small to medium size business entrepreneurs.