Minister Sisulu’s top aid claims more than R1.7m for travel

Please find an attached soundbite by Emma Louise Powell MP

A reply to a Parliamentary question by the Democratic Alliance (DA) has revealed that recently demoted Human Settlements and Water and Sanitation Minister, Lindiwe Sisulu’s top aide has claimed more than R1,76 million on travel and accommodation since May 2019.

This, in addition to the already hyper-inflated monthly salary of R142 920 he received as an Advisory Committee Member, for 15 days of work a month.

Frequently accused of wielding inappropriate influence within both big-budget departments, Mphumzi Mdekazi, is widely rumoured to be the driving force behind Sisulu’s presidential ambitions. 

It is further long alleged that Mdekazi personally hand-picked members of Sisulu’s notorious “National Rapid Response Task Team’ on the basis of their ability to garner political support for Sisulu ahead of the ANC’s 2022 elective conference.   

By invoking S76(1) of the Water Services Act, Minister Sisulu was able to by-pass Ministerial Handbook staff limits and stack her political deck via the establishment of various advisory committees and task teams over which she then had direct control.

“Specialists” serving alongside Mdekazi on this particular Water Services Act Advisory Committee included the likes of a Kenyan Documentary filmmaker, who served as the Department’s camera man, as well as a radio presenter and former Kaizer Chiefs PR officer.

That one single Committee member was permitted to rack up a tax-payer funded travel and accommodation bill of R1 763 878 is simply inconceivable in the face of the devastating financial state of our Nation.

It furthermore makes a mockery of 13 million South Africans who continue to live in informality, many still without access to basic water and sanitation services.

The DA will in coming days PAIA every last invoice submitted to the Department of Water and Sanitation by all members of this Advisory Committee, and further information will be provided to the public once this information is received. 

In the interim, we call on Minister of Water and Sanitation, Senzo Mchunu to immediately disband this mockery of an Advisory Committee and initiate a formal investigation into Mdekazi’s fat-cat travel bill.

Local Government Elections are coming up in 2021! Visit check.da.org.za to check your voter registration status.