David Makhura vows to clamp down on looting of state resources

23 February 2021 - 12:01
By Penwell Dlamini
Gauteng premier David Makhura
Image: DANIEL BORN Gauteng premier David Makhura

Gauteng premier David Makhura has committed his government to addressing the looting of state resources in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

In his state of the province address (Sopa) on Tuesday, Makhura  said  corruption, particularly on personal protective equipment (PPE), undermined all provincial government’s efforts in fighting Covid-19 in Gauteng. He said the corruption dented the position of his administration which is to run a clean government.

“We will set an example that all those involved in corruption and maleficence both in the private and public sector will face the consequences of their own misdeeds and evil actions. We will set an example that where money was lost, money must be recovered and people who were involved in wrong doing must serve a jail term,” Makhura said.

Gauteng provincial government has been rocked by several corruption scandals during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Last year,  Royal Bhaca Projects was linked to a R125m PPE  contract in the province. Royal Bhaca Projects is owned by chief Thandisizwe Madzikane II Diko, the late husband of presidential spokesperson Khusela Diko. The Dikos were close friends of then Gauteng health MEC Bandile Masuku.

Masuku was fired by Makhura for his alleged involvement in the tender. He has since taken on review the Special Investigative Unit report which was used by Makhura to fire him.

Another scandal that shook the province this year was when reports came that the Gauteng education department spent over R400m on decontaminating schools in just three months.

In his speech, delivered in the Gauteng legislature in Johannesburg, Makhura said the highest priority for provincial government this year would be to defeat Covid-19 in the province which has devastated  lives.

About 400,000 people have contracted Covid-19  in Gauteng and close to 10,000 have died of Covid-19-related illness.

The province has also lost 500,000 jobs during the pandemic. This is the second problem that has to be addressed by the province immediately.