Lesufi 'shocked' over R431m dodgy spending to sanitise Gauteng schools

DA calls for premier David Makhura to initiate urgent investigation

26 January 2021 - 15:36
Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi is shocked over a report detailing the costs of decontaminating schools during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi is shocked over a report detailing the costs of decontaminating schools during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Image: TimesLIVE/Nico Gous

The Gauteng education department has vowed to take action after a report revealed allegedly dodgy spending of about R431m for the decontamination, deep-cleaning and sanitising of schools.

The report, which the head of department and chief financial officer had compiled, was released on Tuesday. It detailed the decontamination, disinfection and cleaning of educational facilities commenced in June 2020 in preparation for the opening of schools on June 8. This process involved 2,207 schools and 38 administration buildings.

It is alleged a number of companies awarded the tender to sanitise schools did not have any expertise and experience and were not part of the cleaning industry.

Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said he was taken aback by the report, and promised to take action. He said he was consulting with relevant law enforcement agencies to take up these investigations, and also requested the auditor-general to check and verify if there was value for money in the contracts.

“I wish to reaffirm my commitment to leave no stone unturned on this, including holding those who procured these services accountable,” said Lesufi.

Meanwhile, the DA in Gauteng is calling for premier David Makhura to initiate an urgent investigation into the more than R431m spent in three months.

DA MPL Khume Ramulifho, who is the party’s education shadow MEC, also questioned why sundry payments were made to the companies for the cleaning and sanitising services, raising questions over whether the money was wisely spent.

“We are calling on premier Makhura to initiate an urgent investigation to ascertain exactly how much was spent per school and to identify those schools sanitised for free by Bidvest. The investigation should determine where the money was used as the department denied any expenditure in this regard,” Ramulifho said. 

TimesLIVE


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