DA to Makhura: Hold Lesufi accountable for the R431m spent on school sanitizing
Johannesburg - The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng wants Premier David Makhura to hold MEC for Education Panyaza Lesufi accountable for the R431million spent on sanitizing, deep cleaning and decontaminating schools.
This was after it was revealed on Tuesday that the department paid about 300 suppliers over R431m for services provided over three months.
Lesufi said that he was shocked and dismayed to learn that so much money had been spent.
However, Khume Ramulifho, DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Education, wants Makhura to take act against Lesufi’s department.
Ramulifho said it had become a norm for the ANC-led administration to use Covid-19 funds to enrich themselves while people were dying daily due to complications from the virus.
“These millions could have been spent on building more schools and providing additional mobile classrooms to ensure that all learners are placed and to ease overcrowding in classrooms.
“It is alleged that hundreds of companies who were awarded this tender to sanitise schools do not have any expertise and experience, and are not part of the cleaning industry. The money for services rendered by these companies was paid in sundry payments which raises questions as to whether this money was spent wisely.”
Ramulifho said late last year the department informed the Gauteng Provincial Legislature’s Education Portfolio Committee that they had spent R15000 per school for fogging, and that Bidvest also rendered this service to some of the schools for free.
“We are calling on Premier Makhura to initiate an urgent investigation to ascertain exactly how much was spent per school and to identity those schools that were also sanitised for free by Bidvest. The investigation should also determine where the money was used as the department denied any expenditure in this regard.
“Should it be found that there was an element of corruption where companies submitted invoices for no services rendered, the Head of Department must explain.
“The investigation must ensure that the money should be paid back and those involved face the consequences of their actions,” Ramulifho said.