Eskom's attempt to recover R1.5bn from McKinsey and Trillian is evidence there was wrongdoing

The DA notes Eskom’s plans to recover the more than R1.5 billion it had unlawfully paid to McKinsey and Trillian.
Eskom’s decision to recover these monies is evidence that there was in fact wrongdoing and that these payments were not above board.
After months of defending these payments, the power utility now wants to recover the money.
Had the DA not caught Eskom out in the lie by submitting a Parliamentary question to the Public Enterprises Minister, Lynne Brown, regarding the relationship between Eskom, McKinsey and Trillian, Eskom would have never come clean.
Even more absurd is the fact that power utility investigated these payments itself. The public no longer has faith in Eskom and it is absolute madness that Eskom thinks the public would simply accept this investigation as truly transparent.
The real proof of the true nature of the more than R1.5 billion payments is in the PWC and Denton Reports. Once these reports are made public, we will finally know who at McKinsey gave the go ahead and who at Eskom was “bought” by McKinsey and Trillian.
Simply paying back the money won’t cut it. Those responsible for these unlawful payments must be held accountable.

KPMG failures pose risks to the state

Today’s SCOPA briefing by KPMG on the SARS Rogue report revealed a lack of transparency and audit integrity by KPMG with regards to reportable irregularity to the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA) , over a three year period, within the 33 state entities that it was providing audit services for.
The briefing provided clear evidence of poor oversight that exists over audit firms in South Africa. We are concerned that this poor oversight may have negatively affected the proper functioning of government departments and state entities.
Due to the compromised SARS rogue unit report prepared by KPMG, the DA will call for an independent inquiry that:
· will be transparent and composed of a member of Parliament, as per the DA’s initial suggestion to the SCOPA chairman, Temba Godi;
· will review the documents of the briefing that SARS gave to KPMG, which KPMG has agreed to provide; and
· will review all documentation and reports of the Gupta related companies doing business with the State. SCOPA has requested these from KPMG.
It is unacceptable for auditors to claim to assist state departments and entities but fail to report irregularities, as required by law, to IRBA and SAICA for further investigation.
KPMG has entered into 1 301 projects with the state and constitutional institutions last year and 3 948 over the last three years. It is clear that the presence of systemic problems at KPMG could pose a great risk for the state.
The DA, therefore, calls for a review of all the contracts that government departments have entered into with KPMG including all the contracts that the firm has tendered for.
The DA will not tolerate corruption and poor oversight, whether in the private or public sector as this has consequences financial accountability.

We will dismantle State Capture

The ANC in the North West yesterday unveiled a Jacob Zuma Monument, marking the President’s capture site.
Today, DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane, led a march to the real capture site of President Jacob Zuma in Saxonwold, Johannesburg, to protest the capture of our country, the government, and the people’s money by Jacob Zuma, his ANC, and the Gupta Family.
The Gupta’s mansion is the “headquarters of corruption”. It is within the high walls of their Saxonwold compound where numerous important decisions affecting our country and its people have been made. All of these decisions were made in the best interests of the pockets of Jacob Zuma, and the Gupta family – not the people of South Africa.
The Gupta mansion is not only the capture site of Jacob Zuma, but several Cabinet Ministers too, including Malusi Gigaba, Faith Muthambi, Mosebenzi Zwane, Des Van Rooyen and Lynne Brown; as well as numerous top executives at State-Owned Entities such as Eskom, Transnet and Prasa.
Instead of acting in the best interests of South Africa and its people, these individuals have been captured to act in the best interests of the Gupta’s. In return, they are awarded high profile and high paying jobs.
State Capture is the highest form of corruption, which operates to destroy job opportunities, and operates against ordinary South Africans at the expense of a few. Our challenge is to dismantle it in all its forms.

Malusi Gigaba must set an example when it comes to belt-tightening in SA

The Minister of Finance, Malusi Gigaba, who is responsible for implementing cost containment measures, and who is likely to announce tax increases given the massive budget hole, should be setting an example when it comes to belt-tightening in South Africa.
However, it has now emerged that more than R500 000, including a mindboggling R13 000-plus daily allowance has been blown on international travel for the minister’s spouse, Norma Gigaba, who has no official role during the minister’s official visits.
What this means is that, assuming the current rate of travel, taxpayers will blow R2.25 million on Norma Gigaba’s international travel by the next election in 2019.
The fact is that, even if all the expenses were in line with the Ministerial Handbook, it is simply wrong, especially when 30.4 million people live in poverty, and battle to put bread on the table, in South Africa.
I will, therefore, propose amendments to the guidelines regulating official international travel, which are set out in the Ministerial Handbook: Handbook for Members of the Executive and Presiding Officers, and which apply to members of the executive in South Africa.

Willing buyer, willing sellout

The following remarks were made today by DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane, in Saxonwold, Johannesburg, at protest against State Capture by the Gupta’s and Jacob Zuma. Maimane was joined DA National Spokespersons, Refiloe Nt’sekhe and Phumzile van Damme, and DA Regional Chairperson, Khume Ramulifho.
Fellow democrats,
Today we are gathered here in Saxonwold to protest the capture of our country by Jacob Zuma, his ANC, and the Gupta Family.
Our message is clear: we reject the capture of our country by the rich and the corrupt, and we want real change. South Africa needs a new beginning, ushered in by a new government committed to fighting for the poor and the jobless, not the rich and the connected few.
We need a new government that is committed to our nation’s new struggle – the struggle for access to jobs.
And we demand accountability! The justice system must do its work so that those who have robbed our country are put behind bars.
Fellow South Africans,
Just a few hundred metres down the road from here is the Gupta’s mansion – the very site were Jacob Zuma and his ANC government were captured, and where they sold our country to the highest bidder.
Today we had planned to march to the gates of the mansion, to show South Africa what Jacob Zuma’s capture site really looks like.
But when they heard we were coming, the Guptas ran to their lawyers, who threatened to take us to court.
What do the Gupta’s have to hide? And why are they scared of us?
The truth is, they don’t want South Africa to see Jacob Zuma’s real capture site!
Democrats,
Just 24 hours ago, President Jacob Zuma attended the official unveiling of a multimillion rand monument in his honour, just outside of the small town of Groot Marico in the North West Province.
The monument, according to the President, was erected to commemorate the 1963 arrest of over 50 members of Umkhonto we Sizwe, who were en route to Botswana to take part in military training. Jacob Zuma was one of the members who were arrested.
At the entrance of the newly sprung monument stands an official sign which reads “Jacob Zuma’s Capture Site”.
Anyone who has picked up a newspaper, turned on a radio, or watched the evening news over the past year knows that there is a new “Jacob Zuma capture site” here in Saxonwold.
It is behind the high walls, electric fencing, and stringent private security of the Guptas mansion where many important decisions affecting our country are made. Where ministers are appointed and fired, where government contracts are signed, where national budgets are written, and where policy is decided.
Every decision made there is made guided by one criteria: make Jacob Zuma, his friends, and the Gupta rich.
The Gupta mansion is not only the capture site of Jacob Zuma, but several Cabinet Ministers too, including Malusi Gigaba, Faith Muthambi, Mosebenzi Zwane, Des Van Rooyen; as well as numerous top executives at State-Owned Entities such as Eskom, Transnet and Prasa.
The Gupta mansion is the real capture site of Jacob Zuma, and the headquarters of corruption in South Africa. How sad that a young man in 1963 willing to risk his life for a free South Africa, has allowed his own legacy to be defined by corruption and the selling-out of that struggle. Indeed, the struggle for democracy and freedom has been abandoned by Jacob Zuma and his ANC.
And while they get richer, South Africans are getting poorer.
Democrats, it has been months since the infamous “Gupta Leaks”, which implicate members of the Gupta family, the President, his cabinet, and senior officials and SOE executives. Yet they all walk free.
To this day, not one single person has been prosecuted for their crimes. We cannot continue to sweep this under the carpet. It’s time to fully expose the rot throughout government and the private sector.
It is vital that we establish a platform through which we can get to the very bottom of this matter. That is why I have called on the Speaker of Parliament to immediately establish an ad hoc committee into State Capture by no later than 31 October 2017. The Speaker has been put on notice, and if she fails to act, we will have no hesitation in approaching the Courts to ensure this matter is resolved.
You see, the Jacob Zuma of the past shares many similarities with the ANC of the past.
Both fought for freedom, both put the nation before self-interest, and in doing so, both won the trust and support of the majority of South Africans.
Today, like in the past, Jacob Zuma and the ANC share many similarities.
Both are captured by private interests, and operate for the benefit of itself and those connected few – instead of the country and its people.
Today the ANC, like Jacob Zuma, has resorted to divisive rhetoric and race-baiting to divide South Africa for its own selfish benefit.
And today, the ANC, like Jacob Zuma, has lost the trust and the support of the majority of South Africans. That is why come 2019, South Africans will use their power to vote out this corrupt ANC government at the ballot box, and choose a new beginning for our country.
The future of South lies in a post-ANC South Africa, free from corruption and State Capture, and focused on our nation’s new struggle – the struggle for access to jobs. Our fight is to ensure that all South Africans can enter the economy, find meaningful work, and create a better life for themselves and their loved ones.

Monument to corruption unveiled in the North West

The monument that was unveiled today in the North West is nothing more than a monument to corruption and unemployment.

We were deeply saddened by the living conditions and the environment surrounding the huge and shiny monument. Only a kilometre from the monument, residents of Groot Marico have no running water. See video here.

Due to a dysfunctional and neglected sanitation plant, the area is also experiencing severe sanitation problems. Just a stone’s throw from the monument, sewage is flowing into the river that children swim and play in.

We believes that this monument is a slap in the face of every South African that is struggling to find a job, that suffers the non-delivery of basic services and is affected by ANC corruption, mismanagement, the downgrading to junk status, poor economic growth and the looting of state resources.

We have written to the provincial government, requesting a full disclosure of the cost of this monument. We also asked for a detailed breakdown of the expenditure for the unveiling ceremony – including the busing in of the ANC’s “rent-a-crowd”, the hundreds of food parcels as well as the luxurious tents and catering. We are convinced that this money would have been much better spent on basic services to the poor and hungry residents of Groot-Marico.

We have a great respect for the rich heritage of our country. But we will never support the waste of state funds while so many of our people still go to bed hungry every night.

May this monument be a daily reminder to every resident of this otherwise neglected province of the damage that our broken president, Jacob Zuma, has caused this country.

The heritage site tells the story of President Zuma and 45 other activists who were intercepted by security police at Groot Marico leading to them serving prison terms on Robben Island.

Annual Report reveals 740% increase in irregular expenditure at IPID

The 2016/17 Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) Annual Report has revealed that irregular expenditure at the department has piled up to as much as R21.5 million last year.
This regression of its financial management, owing to a politically-driven period of organisational destabilisation under former Police Minister Nathi Nhleko, is now impacting on its ability to carry out its mandate of conducting independent and impartial investigations of crime committed by SAPS and Municipal Police Service (MPS) members.
This highly irregular expenditure represents a mind-boggling 739.5% increase from the previous year.
The R21.5 million is made up of R12.7 million from 2015 and R6.3 million from last year, all of which is yet to be approved.
Six months ago, IPID were forced to ask for a further R5 million from Parliament to make it possible for it to finish their investigations into the Marikana massacre.
Then two months ago it was reported that IPID was not able to finish one of the Farlam Commission into the massacre of the 44 Marikana miners recommendations because of this lack of finances.
IPID are meant to be the watchdog over those entrusted with our safety and security and were compromised in their ability to do so thanks to a Minister at the time who actively worked against its effectiveness and an unfit-for-purpose leadership that seemed intent on hollowing out its capacity.
The people of South Africa need to urgently be reassured that their safety is not being risked by IPID’s inability to keep its financial affairs in order and the department must implement an urgent recovery plan.

Higher Education Department going insolvent

The Auditor-General’s (AG) 2016-17 report on Higher Education and Training contains a range of ominous warnings which need urgent attention. The report found that:

  • The Department is carrying substantial liabilities which have significantly increased this year. The AG says that the Department is in “a negative overdraft and negative cash flow” position. Next year the Department might well be unable to continue sustainably.
  • Irregular expenditure reached an unprecedented R929 million in the 2016/17 year, 94% of which has not been investigated yet. Most of this irregular expenditure occurs in the SETAs. One SETA – EWSETA – misspent no less than R290m. and the National Skills Fund misspent R170m.
  • 24 of the 50 TVET Colleges received a qualified, adverse or disclaimed audit opinion.
  • Five TVET Colleges have not yet submitted their Annual Financial Statements – some have not done so since 2014
  • This year, the TVET sector has met only 1 of its 12 targets, and the Community College sector has met none.
  • Most Universities carry enormous levels of student debt, much of which has to be written off. Their situation is likely to have worsened rather than improved in the subsequent two years.

In a separate 2015 study, 10 universities (NWU, WSU, SMU, UNIVEN, UNISA, TUT, CPUT, CUT, MUT and VUT) incurred operating deficits and 4 (NWU, MUT, UNISA and MUT) made annual losses.
This massive, and unwieldy Department has 78 entities reporting directly to it, as well as indirect responsibility for 26 Universities. Managing all of this is too much for it to handle on its current budget and staffing level, as our economy staggers under the burden of ANC failure.
Our students in SETAs, TVETs and universities are being seriously let down as the Department and its institutions decay. The future of higher education looks bleak and this situation must be addressed with urgency.

Inquiry into failure of localisation in Transnet locomotives deal to go ahead

The Democratic Alliance welcomes the agreement on the terms of reference by the Portfolio Committee for Trade and Industry to begin its public inquiry into Transnet’s R50 billion locomotive contract which, despite local content obligations, saw none of the China South Rail (CSR) locomotives being assembled in South Africa.
The agreement for the terms of reference for the inquiry follows a decision taken by the parliamentary committee on the 15th of September 2017, to launch an inquiry into the acquisition in terms of National Assembly Rule 227,1(c).
This inquiry must get to the bottom of exactly how this contract was awarded and how it was that the law was contravened in order to avoid producing the trains in South Africa, therefore depriving our people of vital jobs.
CSR contracted Gupta-linked Tequesta Group as a consultant, and according to an agreement, stood to earn a 21% cut of every deal gained by CSR.
The committee will now be empowered to call for Transnet to hand over all documents related to this massive deal. It cannot be that R6 billion cost-inflation has been added to these deals which directly takes away from local manufacturers ability to contribute to the build.
The truth is, this spend by Transnet has all the hallmarks of the now infamous “Arms Deal” which saw billions spent and with few commitments of manufactures actually being realised.
There can be no doubt that Transnet has become ground zero for the Gupta’s to loot and steal resources without consequence. We are glad that the committee has now decided to move forward after the DA first called for this matter to be investigated in July 2017.
We will work to ensure that this enquiry gets to the bottom of this sham and hold those that have flagrantly ignored our laws and procurement policies to enrich the politically connected few accountable for their actions, including the prospects of criminal prosecutions.

Denel tables flawed financial reports

Today, in Parliament the Public Enterprises Committee was presented with a letter from the Auditor-General, Kimi Makwetu, in which he expressed concerns regarding the financial audit the firm, SNG, did of Denel.
The A-G found that SNG failed to properly account for irregular expenditure in its report of Denel’s financials.
SNG requested that Denel amend the flawed reports, but according to the A-G, Denel resisted this request and proceeded to table the incorrect financials.
It is completely unacceptable that a Board and the executives of a public entity would see it fit to not only submit incorrect financials but also deliberately refuse to follow an instruction by an auditing firm.
By doing so, Denel also possibly breached Section 55 of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA), which states that “[t]he accounting authority for a public entity (a) must keep full and proper records of the financial affairs of the public entity [and that financial reports] fairly present the state of affairs of the public entity, its business, its financial results, its performance against predetermined objectives and its financial position as at the end of the financial year concerned”.
The DA will now write to the Chairperson of the Public Enterprises Committee, Ms Zukiswa Rantho, to request that Denel be urgently brought before the Committee to account for this transgression.
The DA shares the A-G’s concerns, considering that SNG has also done financial audits on Transnet and Eskom.
Given the fallout from the KPMG scandal and credibility concerns with the audit profession in general, we trust that the A-G needs will go over the audit outcomes of Eskom and Transnet with a fine tooth comb to check for similar errors.
Corruption is rife within our state-owned enterprises, and we need to ensure that auditors are transparent.