The affordable education loan option
Johannesburg - The Gauteng provincial government is embroiled in yet another scandal - this one involving the issuing of loans worth millions of rand to an ANC bigwig who allegedly didn’t pay the money back.
Five years ago, the Gauteng Enterprise Propeller (GEP), a government trading entity which falls under the Department of Economic Development, gave a loan of R5.5 million to former Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Associations treasurer Dumisani Khoza, who has failed to pay back a cent.
This latest spending by the Department of Economic Development was revealed by its former political boss, Nkosiphendule Kolisile, in June.
He was replying to question from the DA’s Jack Bloom.
Kolisile said the GEP had entered into a loan agreement with Sifikile Card Technology (Pty) Ltd. The amount was R5 549 485.86 and was paid into their account in March 2008.
Kolisile said the motivation for the loan was that Sifikile was a company that operated within the information communications technology sector, was involved in the production of SIM card personalisation and was a BEE company.
Among the repayment conditions were:
* Debit order authorisation;
* Interest of 13 percent (prime-linked then) within 72 months;
* Instalments of R120 445 for 72 months;
* Special notarial bond over some of the movable assets;
* Personal surety binding Mr P Nyathi and Dumisani Khoza, the owners, if Sifikile Card Technologies was unable to pay.
Kolisile said the loan was supposed to be repaid by March 2015 and the matter had been handed over to the GEP’s lawyers for collections.
Bloom raised concern that Khoza was supposed to have made his first payment in October 2008, “but nothing has been paid of this loan and the GEP is seeking to recover the money through its lawyer”.
“The GEP has wasted huge amounts of money with loans to people with political connections rather than real entrepreneurs who can create real jobs. This unfortunate practice must stop,” Bloom insisted.
Khoza denied his company received money from the GEP.
He initially said: “We are unable to respond fully due to the confidentiality agreement signed between the parties and suggest that you contact the GEP for a full response.
“All we can say at this stage is that no money was paid to Sifikile Card Technologies by the GEP. The money was paid directly to the manufacturer in Germany.
“As security of the money advanced for the purchase of the equipment, the GEP passed a notarial bond that was registered in their favour,” Khoza added.
“What happened here is that we were shortlisted on the list of companies that were supposed to produce credit card driving licences.
We submitted a proposal to the GEP for assistance and they decided to go to straight to Germany and secure the machines for us from Ruhlamat, the manufacturer.
“We did not get the loan, and the money was not paid directly to us. We are just paying for the upkeep of those machines at a bonded warehouse,” Khoza said.
However, on Thursday night, Department of Economic Development spokeswoman Nondumiso Msomi said the loan was given to Sifikile and that plans were at an advanced stage to recover the money.
* The latest allegations against Khoza came after two former MK cadres laid criminal charges against him, military veterans association chairman Kebby Maphatsoe, former chairman Deacon Mathe, treasurer Johannes Motseki and Deputy Minister of Public Service Ayanda Dlodlo for allegedly helping themselves to R5.4m belonging to the MK military veterans.