Public Protector must investigate Phakalane Airways tender

By Pule Thole, MPL, DA Provincial Spokesperson on Transport:

Public Protector must investigate Phakalane Airways tender

It comes as no surprise that the Department of Transport, Safety and Liaison’s intra-provincial aviation contract has been a failed project.

From the beginning of the contract the DA has been very concerned with the lack of transparency regarding the airline service.

The DA made numerous attempts to seek clarity on the details of this project. Any projects funded with state resources and taxpayers’ money should be open for public scrutiny.

I requested management reports regarding the intra-provincial aviation contract last year and submitted questions but the department failed to provide answers.

It is my responsibility as a public representative in the provincial legislature to play an oversight role over the executive and hold government accountable.

The DA has consistently raised the matter with the department and requested the full contract details entered between the department and the service provider Bevlink Aviation (Pty) Ltd trading as Phakalane Airways.

I also raised this issue at various stages in the portfolio committee meetings when the department made presentations to the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature.

The department has remained tight-lipped regarding details surrounding this project.

The 2013/2014 Annual Report of the department indicated that the department incurred irregular expenditure of more than R120 million of which R3 million was paid to Phakalane Airways.

The reduction in the number of flights on the airline service is a clear indication that the department failed to plan properly and taxpayers’ money has unsurprisingly gone down the drain.

This project joins the long list of failed government projects which amounts to millions of rands.

The DA has request the office of the Public Protector to investigate any mal-administration in the handling of this project and whoever may be responsible for this project to be held accountable. See attached letter:

Letter to the Public Protector