Where is the missing R6.2 million monument, Minister Mantashe?

The Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Gwede Mantashe, has yet to answer an oral parliamentary question from the Democratic Alliance (DA) on 7 August 2020 regarding the whereabouts of a monument to fallen miners commissioned by the Mine Health and Safety Council in October 2017 and paid for over a period of 30 months, for installation in the Newtown Cultural Precinct.

The contract for R4.8 million between the Mine Health and Safety Council and CulArt Productions was signed on 18 October 2017, but interestingly CulArt received its first payment of R444 600 on 13 September 2017 – more than a month before the signing of the contract.

The contract between the council and CulArt states in paragraph 5.1 that the agreement shall commence on the effective date (non-given) and shall be valid for a period of three months from the commencement date. Paragraph 5.2 states that the services must be rendered and completed within two months.

To date, CulArt has been paid R6 295 950.46 without a sign of the memorial’s existence.

This is not the first time CulArt has been involved in dodgy dealings with the government. In 2011 faked invoices were allegedly submitted to the Department of Arts and Culture for CulArt’s involvement with South Africa’s participation at the Venice Biennale exhibition that year.

Minister Mantashe has yet to answer why CulArt received payment before the contract was signed or why the project that should have been completed in 2017 has to date cost 30% more than the original contract.