Minister Zikalala Cracks Down on Extravagant State Property Spending

Sihle Zikalala
  • Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Sihle Zikalala has initiated an investigation into procurement practices related to the maintenance of state properties occupied by public representatives. This follows revelations of seemingly inflated costs for refurbishments on these properties.
  • Minister Zikalala emphasized the importance of prudent spending of public funds and the need for accountability. He highlighted that the procurement legislative regime clearly excludes elected representatives from procurement matters, and a panel will scrutinize pricing practices and procurement related to maintenance.
  • The Minister is working on a proposal aimed at resolving such issues and safeguarding the integrity of the government. He reassured the public that no political principal is involved with the excessive finishes and that the government strongly condemns any excessive conduct with taxpayers’ money.

In a bold move, Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Sihle Zikalala has vowed to take decisive action on procurement practices related to the maintenance of state properties occupied by public representatives. This comes in the wake of revelations involving questionable expenditures on refurbishments of these properties.

Minister Zikalala has initiated an investigation into all procurement practices concerning refurbishments on such properties within his portfolio. The probe was triggered by revelations of a kitchen refurbishment costing R1.4 million, curtains procured for R54,000, and a fumigation service billed at R240,000 on government properties in Cape Town and Pretoria.

The Minister expressed his determination to uncover the truth behind what appears to be grossly inflated prices. “President Cyril Ramaphosa has directed us as Ministers to not tolerate wasteful or any excessive, unreasonable or potentially corrupt practices,” stated Minister Zikalala.

Minister Zikalala emphasised the need for accountability and prudent spending of public funds, especially in light of the current financial squeeze experienced by many due to the rise in the cost of living. He added, “We have a duty to lead by example and set the right tone in spending public monies.”

The Minister also pointed out that the procurement legislative regime clearly excludes the participation of elected representatives in procurement matters. The panel set up for the investigation will scrutinise pricing practices and procurement related to maintenance.

The Minister expressed concern over the unjustifiable costs of some items, suggesting possible foul play by service providers who may view the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure as a cash cow.

Minister Zikalala is also working on a proposal to be presented to all government decision-making bodies, aimed at resolving such issues and safeguarding the integrity of the government. This proposal will be presented on Tuesday, 23 May 2023, when the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure presents its budget vote.

The Minister reassured the public that no political principal is involved with the excessive finishes and that the government strongly condemns any excessive conduct with taxpayers’ money. He will inform the President about the steps the Department is taking to investigate and eradicate questionable procurement practices associated with the maintenance of government properties.

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