Premier fails to meet KZN RTI Commission deadline

Radley Keys, MPP

DA KZN Spokesperson on Transport

The end of March was the deadline to which KZN Premier, Senzo Mchunu, committed for a full report on the outcome of the R14.5 million RTI Commission into the tragic of deaths of eight young people during a departmental recruitment drive in December 2012.

The final report was due on 31 March 2014.  It was expected to be presented to the Premier who would then, in terms of the KZN Commissions Act, forward the report to the Provincial Legislature through the Office of the Speaker.

Yet the day came and went without as much as a murmur.

In failing to stick to stick to his own deadline, the Premier and his ANC-led executive have shown little regard for the pain and suffering experienced by these families.

For the families that have already waited for more than a year for the Commission to complete its work, it signals more delays before they can find closure.

For KZN taxpayers’, who have largely funded the probe, the delays raise serious questions around the vast sums of money spent without any visible resolution for action against DOT officials, who may be found responsible for poor planning leading to the deaths of these young people.

The DA would also expect the Commission to make recommendations regarding the alleged fraud perpetrated by the DOT in its presentations to the Commission – something that has the potential to undermine the Commission’s credibility.

To date there is little to indicate that the provincial cabinet is putting any pressure on officials to bring the Commission to closure.

This Commission must be finalised without any further delays and the outcome made public.  Certainly, it must not be buried as in the case of the inquiry into the efficacy of the KZN SAPS, which took seven long years to see the light of day in the provincial parliament.

The DA expects the Premier to announce the outcome of the RTI Commission of Inquiry at the next sitting of the provincial parliament, provisionally scheduled for 8 April.

The time for making false promises is over.