MEC PINKIE STANDS IN THE FIRING LINE
LIMPOPO roads and transport MEC Pinkie Kekana "failed" to justify her decisions to fire Road Agency Limpopo board members - and to withhold the agency's budget.
The provincial legislature yesterday summoned her to explain her actions but were dissatisfied with her responses.
Kekana was asked by the portfolio committee on road and transport to explain why she forced board members to resign "just because she was not comfortable" with them.
Kekana froze the budget and put on halt the road upgrading process in the province, claiming she was not satisfied with the agency's business plan.
But at the hearing held at the parliamentary village in Polokwane, Kekana clearly failed to satisfy the provincial legislature with her answers.
Committee members asked the same questions several times but Kekana failed to give sound reasons for her action to fire board members whom the committee believed were competent officials.
The committee told Kekana she had acted "illegally" and had contravened the Parliament Act when she withheld a budget of R70billion - and by not awarding council contracts.
The agency budget was also cut by R277000, a move, according to the agency, that frustrated the implementation of planned projects.
When the committee asked why she had forced out the board members, Kekana replied that "it was the board that ought to account" for the problems in the agency and her department.
ANC committee member Elias Nong charged: "There is no money, you ask a board to resign, you are complicating things that are not completed."
Kekana also raised concerns about the road agency's alleged failure to implement black economic empowerment (BEE) correctly.
But according to the agency's chief executive Boham Shivambu, BEE "had been implemented" by the government.
Committee chairperson Kennedy Midiyavhathu Tshivhase said the committee would shortly make a decision on Kekana's actions.