Eastern Cape ‘defies’ National Treasury

The Eastern Cape government is under fire for allegedly approving the payment of more than R170-million on broadband services in a deal that was not authorised by the National Treasury.

The province wants to connect its departments with fast internet to improve service delivery. More than 7‚100 sites had to be connected‚ the Daily Dispatch reported on Monday.

The plan was to piggyback on a 10-year multi-billion rand broadband tender between the Western Cape government and a Gauteng-based company.

Eastern Cape director-general Marion-Mbina Mthembu allegedly approved the payment on December 6 of R171-million to the company. This was despite a request for approval being turned down in a letter by Willie Mathebula‚ acting chief procurement officer at National Treasury.

Democratic Alliance MPL Bobby Stevenson on Monday called on the provincial treasury to “conduct a forensic investigation” into the Office of the Premier.

“I call on the MEC for Finance and Provincial Expenditure‚ Sakhumzi Somyo‚ to publicly state whether or not the payment of R171-million … was made or not. The contract for broadband rollout could potentially run into over R1-billion‚” he said in a statement.

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