MEC Marawu must come clean on re-awarding scholar transport to corrupt operators

Dacre Haddon MPL

Housing, Transport, Local Government and Traditional Affairs in the Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature

Provincial Transport MEC Thandiswa Marawu needs to come clean with the public as to why her department has extended the  scholar transport  to operators One Future Development 46 for a third consecutive time.

It must also be questioned whether the MEC herself or other officials in the department do not have a possible personal financial or other interest with One Future Development 46.

Are financial kickbacks and gate keeping by departmental officials allowing One Future Development 46 to continue transporting our children to school?

It has come to my attention that this may well be the case.

It is suspicious too that new bidders Somila Consulting Agency who as reported were on the verge of winning the new contract, are planning to challenge this extension.

I have written to the Chairperson of the portfolio committee on Transport asking her that the committee urgently subpoena the relevant officials and directors of One Future Development 46 and inform the committee of the details of all the operators involved in the contract.

The committee needs to be briefed on the progress of the investigation by the HAWKS into this matter.

Furthermore I am asking the committee to consider the possibility of instituting criminal action against the MEC and officials for possible alleged financial negligence and fraud.

Given the rampant corruption and awarding of large salaries to the directors of One Future Development and the loss of numerous young lives in accidents caused by the negligence of this operator, it boggles the mind as to why the department sees fit to extend this contract.

By extending the contract to this company the department is by implication condoning the fraud and mismanagement of the funding and the loss of young lives on our roads.

The death of young students on our roads cuts short lives of potential and opportunity for these students to make significant future contributions to this country.

The anxiety of parents of these children having One Future Development foisted on them from the department is unacceptable.

Parents and pupils have the right to be informed of their transport options and choices.

This scholar transport tender needs to be outsourced to several operators thus creating opportunity for competition and efficiency between such operators in an open society.

The portfolio committee on Transport has also expressed reservation that One Future Development not be allowed to tender again for renewal of the contract.

As head of the Department, Honourable MEC Marawu and her officials involved in the process, need to account to the provincial legislature as a matter of urgency as to why she is letting this appalling state of affairs continue.

The Democratic Alliance will ensure that this accountability takes place.