Motsoaledi calls Home Affairs, Bosasa deal ’stupid’
Cape Town – Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has described the agreement reached between his department and Bosasa on the use of the Lindela Repatriation Centre as ’’stupid“.
Motsoaledi was on Wednesday asked about claims made by Angelo Agrizzi that the Lindela Repatriation Centre was a cash cow and that the Auditor-General had found that the department paid R20 000 per inmate per month.
"It was a stupid deal between Home Affairs officials for the past number of years with Bosasa whereby the facility can carry 4 000, but it was agreed that when the payments are made, there must be a minimum whereby the Department of Home Affairs could pay 2 500 people," he said.
He said they have removed that clause in the present bid.
"As to whether it was done as a matter of corruption, it was an agreement and it has been signed. We believe it is a stupid one," Motsoaledi said.
The minister also said the R100 million allocated to purchase the Lindela Repatriation Centre has not been spent yet.
"What happened is that an amount of R73m is held in a trust at the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure because this is the amount pledged to buy the Lindela facility on auction that has taken place sometime early this year before Covid-19," he said.
Motsoaledi said there was a court case which reversed the sale of facilities of Bosasa on auction and that the facilities could not be sold. He said the department was still using the facility.
"We pay rent to whoever is in charge of it. At the moment it is the liquidator."
Motsoaledi also said they were finalising a bid process for service providers for food, health and security services regardless of whoever owned the property.
He said he did not know when the bidding process would be finalised, but it started sometime in August.
Asked about building capacity in order to provide services to the facility, Motsoaledi said they were security, which they presently don't have the capacity to provide.
Regarding moving towards ensuring cost-efficiency instead of having to rent, the minister said it was his wish that the department's buildings were state-owned.
He said they had attempted to get a government building to replace the Lindela Repatriation Centre but could not find any.
"I have approached the head of infrastructure in the Presidency to look at this issue about us building our own offices with state money and owning them like hospitals, clinics or police stations.
"That process is on," Motsoaledi said.