Katleho Morapela
2 minute read
22 Nov 2018
8:28 am

Failed project in Free State worth millions under spotlight

Katleho Morapela

Investigations into the Free State’s Old Ramkraal Prison in Bloemfontein is set to come under the spotlight on Thursday in the Provincial Legislature.

The Old Ramkraal Prison. Image: Bloemfontein Courant

A historic site in the Free State was allocated R120 million eight years ago for refurbishments by the provincial government to house the Free State Legislature, but to date, the project stands dilapidated with millions unaccounted for, reports OFM News.

This, as the Office of the Auditor-General (AG) briefed the joint Portfolio Committee on Public Accounts and Finance, including that of Public Works, Infrastructure, Roads, Transport and Human Settlements, about this historic site, among other issues, on Wednesday.

The Old Ramkraal Prison in Bloemfontein has drawn much controversy and made headlines with opposition parties in the Legislature demanding answers as to where the R120 million allegedly spent on the site was applied.

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The AG’s Aletta van Tromp, who presented her office’s progress report into the project earlier in June, confirmed that procurement processes were not followed and that they were still trying to establish reasons as to why this historic site was chosen for the construction of a new Legislature Complex.

She also confirmed that they had received documents from the Free State Heritage Council, stating their concerns over the use of this heritage site – and the poor state in which it has been left.

Van Tromp said the documents in their possession indicated an expenditure of close to R90 million, and that it remained worrisome that some stakeholders involved in this project were not cooperating and had not submitted all the required documents.

Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane has during the announcement of the Free State DA premier candidate held at this site, told OFM News the ANC Secretary-General and former Free State premier Ace Magashule, together with other ANC leaders, should be ashamed of the millions siphoned out of the Free State to enrich the controversial Gupta family.

He said the millions unaccounted for on this project and for the other controversial Vrede Dairy project are an indication of how the province has become a cash cow for the few politically connected.

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