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‘Old habits die hard’ — Holomisa rubbishes Ramaphosa’s pledge that flood relief funds will not be looted

23 April 2022 - 10:00
UDM leader Bantu Holomisa suggested corruption runs to deep to ensure flood relief funds are not looted and mismanaged. File photo.
UDM leader Bantu Holomisa suggested corruption runs to deep to ensure flood relief funds are not looted and mismanaged. File photo.
Image: Simphiwe Nkwali

UDM leader Bantu Holomisa is not convinced by President Cyril Ramaphosa’s pledge that no funds meant for relief and the rebuilding of KwaZulu-Natal will end up in corrupt hands.

Ramaphosa promised “corruption hyenas” they will not get a cent of the more than R1bn released to help those affected by devastating floods that ravaged the province earlier this month.

Reacting to Ramaphosa’s comments, Holomisa suggested corruption runs deep.

“They say old habits die hard, especially when you are surrounded by questionable characters,” he said.

Holomisa had earlier warned about the looting of funds and resources meant for the destitute when he posted a picture of hyenas alongside the words: “Not again, please! Comrades eyeing emergency funds in KZN.”

National Treasury has identified R1bn in contingency reserve funds for departments to help those affected, while human settlements minister Mmamoloko Kubayi said her department would draw about R1.6bn from its own funds reserved for such disasters to help rebuild damaged homes. 

Government is also considering erecting temporary residential units on stands where it is safe to rebuild damaged homes, and giving affected families R8,000 vouchers they can use to purchase building materials.

Speaking last week during an address on relief efforts in KwaZulu-Natal, Ramaphosa said: “There can be no room for corruption and there can be no room for mismanagement or fraud of any sort.

“Learning from the experience of the Covid-19 pandemic, we are drawing together stakeholders to be part of an oversight structure to ensure all funds disbursed to this disaster are properly accounted for and that the state receives value for money.  

“When it comes to infrastructure the participation of engineers, architects, quantity surveyors and those who are experts in building will help us so we do not overpay for the infrastructure rebuild and we get value for money.

“We are determined there be transparency and accountability as the projects are costed and implemented as well as how resources are deployed from the beginning, not after the money has either been wasted or stolen.”

His words were echoed by KwaZulu-Natal premier Sihle Zikalala, who said “no amount of corruption, maladministration and fraud will be tolerated or associated with this province”.

The DA said it would forward specific proposals to assembly speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula on how to strengthen the oversight powers of parliament and prevent the abuse of power and public money under a national state of disaster.

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