He was critical given that the SIU had uncovered R2.1bn worth of irregular contracts in January.
“Again, there is a single, clear message about what is happening. But why is it happening, Mr President? How has this level of corruption been allowed to establish itself within a government that is meant to be for the people?
“It’s not as if we weren’t warned. In September 2020 the auditor-general warned of the risk of abuse of the social relief grant to channel money away from where it was intended to go. Again in March 2021, the AG highlighted the lack of co-ordination and weak controls that left the relief fund vulnerable to fraud and looting.
“We need to make one thing very clear: there is no split between the government and a criminal network that infiltrated it. When you say, Honourable President, that there was state capture, you imply that it is behind us. But we are still living with its effects. That criminal network, just like those individuals who conspired to defraud the government, was enabled and assisted by officials and leaders in government. Our own government became part of a criminal network. Unless we admit to this fact and stop playing semantics, the solution will evade us.”
Despite its criticism of the Sona, the IFP said it welcomed the extension of the R350 grant announced by Ramaphosa.
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