DA calls on Minister De Lille to brief Parliament on Beitbridge ‘washing line’

The Democratic Alliance (DA) will write to the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Public Works and Infrastructure to request that the Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure, Patricia de Lille, is invited to brief Parliament on the procurement process that was followed in the Beitbridge Border fence scandal.

When asked about the matter in Tuesday’s Home Affairs Portfolio Committee meeting, Minister Aaron Motsoaledi failed to give any clarity and referred the matter back to the Minister of Public Works to clarify.

It has widely been reported that the border fence at Beitbridge is laughably inadequate and many questions have been raised about the process used to appoint the contractor responsible for building what can only be described as a “washing line” to keep Covid-19 from reaching South Africa from Zimbabwe.

The DA submitted Parliamentary questions ​to the Minister on 24 April around the appointment of the contractor, as well as the specifications of the fence and the value for money that our taxpayers have received.

The Minister has a responsibility to the public to account to Parliament on her handling of the entire Beitbridge Border fence debacle.

This fence sports a price tag of R37 million for the 40 km of fencing in need of repairs. If the money is not optimally spent to build a fence that will last lifetimes, it can be used to fill other holes that the Covid-19 pandemic has brought to light. There must therefore be no delay in getting clarification around the controversy surrounding the fence.