By Janet Semple MPL, DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Economic Development:
In August 2015, a moratorium, pending the outcome of a forensic investigation, was placed on all funding by the Gauteng Enterprise Propeller (GEP) as it was revealed that R100 million in loans – which had effectivity bankrupted the entity, had been unpaid over a period of 10 years.
While the investigation is still ongoing, GEP at a portfolio committee meeting held in Reiger Park last week, made an about turn and announced that it will now resume with its current funding model which is clearly unsustainable.
While GEP has a critical role to play in assisting start-up businesses and empowering entrepreneurs, it cannot conduct business as usual.
It is imperative that public funds are safeguarded from misuse and malpractice.
GEP must wait for the outcome of the forensic investigation to assess what it is that is causing it to bleed money and not recoup loans.
I will write to the MEC for Economic Development, Lebogang Maile, and request that he either instruct GEP to reinstate the moratorium on funding until the results of the forensic investigation are made public or reveal where the new stream of revenue is coming from.