Cape Town – Parliamentary committees are on Saturday visiting the Beitbridge border post after the department of public works and infrastructure procured a border fence worth millions, but it has caused a huge public outcry over the quality of work done.
Opposition parties have described the fence, worth R37 million, as a washing line.
The 37km long border fence was constructed after the outbreak of Covid-19 and the intention was to block the illegal crossings into the country.
But MPs have heard that the fence is of poor quality and that people still illegally get into the country from Zimbabwe.
On Saturday the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa), the portfolio committee on home affairs and the portfolio committee on public works and infrastructure to assess the work done to build the border fence.
“The committees have received briefings individually on procurement and construction of the fence, and subsequent investigations thereof,” said the committees in a statement.
“These investigations had highlighted a range of acts of misconduct during procurement and construction of the fence. This is the reason why both committees have decided to visit the site to assess the work done by the money taken from the national fiscus.
“The Portfolio Committee on Public Works and Infrastructure has raised serious concerns about weak systems in the Department of Public Works that are intended to prevent malpractice and corruption when procuring services.
“Furthermore, non-compliance to Section 217 of the Constitution, Public Finance Management Act, National Treasury practice notes and the department’s own procurement regulations were identified as causal factors to weaknesses when procuring services,” said the committees.