Open letter to South Africa’s students‚ universities and government‚ represented by Minister in the .
The notion that the Gautrain project, between Johannesburg and Pretoria, be used only by the "better off" and reports that it would not personally benefit "some of the already very well remunerated" state ministers is simply outrageous, the South African Communist Party (SACP) said yesterday.
SACP spokesman Malesela Maleka said that this "is simply not what the millions of our people fought and died for".
This follows reports on Sunday that two cabinet ministers and National Assembly speaker Baleka Mbete had shares in the consortium that was building Gautrain.
Home Affairs Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and Education Minister Naledi Pandor are allegedly part of the shareholding structure of the Bombela consortium.
Mapisa-Nqakula has subsequently denied knowledge that Dyambu, where she had an interest, had been part of Bombela.
Had she been aware of its involvement, she would have disqualified herself from cabinet discussions on the project, her spokesman Mike Ramagoma told the Sunday Times.
The newspaper reported that both she and Pandor were at cabinet meetings where the Gautrain project was discussed and approved, despite objections that it would merely serve an already comfortable middle-class.
Pandor denied that her share-holding in Black Management Forum Investments was a conflict of interests because she was an ordinary shareholder and not involved in decision-making.
The SACP's stance mirrors that of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), which also said it was outraged by the reports.
Cosatu said this reinforced the belief that there was a growing culture of self-enrichment among ANC and government leaders.
It called on public representatives to choose between public service and a business career.
"You cannot be a representative of the people at the same time as being a capitalist - these roles are inherently contradictory," said Cosatu spokesman Patrick Craven.
Both organisations are in alliance with the ruling ANC. - I-Net Bridge with Sapa