DA will not rubber-stamp IPTS capital dumping

Retief Odendaal,

DA Caucus leader – Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality:

The Democratic Alliance notes that the beleaguered Integrated Public Transport System (IPTS) has incurred budget overruns in the amount of just under R147 million. It is our considered opinion that this unauthorised expenditure amounts to little more than the dumping of capital budget prior to the financial year-end. This is money that could and should have been spent on items identified within the approved budget.

In spite of the significant controversy surrounding this project, repeated tender deviations and overspending has become a hallmark of a project that remains largely veiled in secrecy and still without a single bus on the road.

The project remains in disarray, shrouded in a cloud of alleged corruption and irregularity, under the control of an official whom it has been alleged in the press, has a criminal conviction.

The Democratic Alliance will not support the proposal to bring this overspending to council for the purposes of condoning this unauthorised expenditure. We will not avail ourselves as a rubber stamp that would assist in any way in regularising this uncontrolled spending.

The Pikoli report into IPTS project irregularities has yet to be properly dealt with and promises to be merely the tip of the iceberg in this saga.

The Democratic Alliance again requests that a full forensic audit be conducted into the IPTS project so that the unvarnished truth can be revealed.  Any corrupt , fraudulent or illegal activity must be exposed and reported to the relevant authority for appropriate action, prosecution and recovery where required.  In addition, we will once again be writing to the offices of the MEC Fikile Xasa, MEC for Local Government in the Eastern Cape, Minister Pravin Gordhan, Minister for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs and to the National Treasury, requesting urgent attention and appropriate intervention.

This mismanagement exposed, once again highlights the inability of this institution to properly manage their capital budget and, in so doing, deprives residents of much needed service delivery, undermines confidence institution and hampers economic growth and job creation.