The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng welcomes the proclamation by President Cyril Ramaphosa, that the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) will be investigating the Gauteng Enterprise Propeller (GEP).
According to the proclamation issued, the SIU will be investigating the following allegations:
- Maladministration in connection with the affairs of the Agency;
- Improper or unlawful conduct by officials or employees of the Agency;
- Unlawful appropriation or expenditure of public money or property;
- Unlawful, irregular or unapproved acquisitive act, transaction, measure or practice having a bearing upon State property;
- Intentional or negligent loss of public money or damage to public property;
- Offence referred to in Parts 1 to 4, or section 17, 20 or 21 (in so far as it relates to the aforementioned offences) of Chapter 2 of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act, 2004 (Act No. 12 of 2004), and which offences were committed in connection with the affairs of the Agency;
Or unlawful or improper conduct by any person, which has caused or may cause serious harm to the interests of the public or any category thereof.
The investigation will take into account any unlawful activities that took place between 1 January 2017 to 1 April 2021, which falls under the period when Lebogang Maile was the MEC for Economic Development and Leah Manenzhe was the acting CEO.
For the longest time, the DA has been calling on the MEC for Economic Development and Premier David Makhura to investigate the GEP, as money meant to support small businesses has not been seen by the rightful beneficiaries.
Furthermore, we have long maintained that the GEP is riddled with corruption and inefficiencies, resulting in very little support for small businesses in Gauteng. Government has a responsibility to create the right environment for small business to flourish and create employment opportunities for the unemployed, especially the youth.
We will be monitoring the progress of this investigation to ensure that it is concluded timeously with positive results, including the naming of any officials who were involved in the misuse of public funds.