Scopa calls on Treasury to finalise report into Beitbridge border fence

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The committee on Tuesday expressed concerns on the delay, saying it wanted to finalise the controversial R40 million failed Department of Public Works and Infrastructure project.

The Beitbridge border post between South African and Zimbabwe. Picture: @HomeAffairsSA/Twitter

CAPE TOWN – The Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) has called on the National Treasury to finalise its investigation report into the Beitbridge border fence.

The committee on Tuesday expressed concerns on the delay, saying it wanted to finalise the controversial R40 million failed Department of Public Works and Infrastructure project.

The Beitbridge border fence project was part of the emergency procurement during the state of disaster as a result of COVID-19. But the project raised the ire of MPs who said the fence was not fit for purpose and wasteful expenditure.

Scopa chairperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa expressed his frustration at the delays in the completion of the Treasury report into Minister Patricia de Lille’s involvement.

“Our own staff have been chasing after National Treasury this whole time in preparation for this meeting so that members could have received that information… we have not even received the basic thing that we wanted yet they’re an integral part of this process in order for us to finalise our report,” Hlengwa said.

Scopa members also wanted De Lille to explain her relationship with advisor Melissa Whitehead who is implicated in the Special Investigating Unit’s (SIU) report into the project.

“On what has happened with regards to the charging of Melissa Whitehead as recommended by the SIU, and has she been suspended from her duties in the interim,” said DA MP Alf Lees.

De Lille told MPs that she appreciated being held to account and said she was committed to cooperating in all investigations.

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