NEWS & ANALYSIS

DA wants full briefing on Vrede Dairy Project – David van Vuuren

MPL says special committee meeting needed in the spirit of transparency and accountability

DA requests special committee meeting for full briefing on Vrede Dairy Project

31 January 2018

Following the actions taken by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and its Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) surrounding the controversial Vrede Dairy Project and considering the continued funding of the project by the Free State Provincial Department of Agriculture and the Free State Development Corporation (FDC), the DA is of the strong view that the Portfolio Committee on Finance and Public Accounts needs to be fully briefed by all stakeholders on how this action will impact on the project.

To this end, and in the spirit of transparency and accountability, the DA has this morning submitted a request to the Chairperson of the Committee, Mr Neels van Rooyen, to convene such a special committee meeting. We have requested that the committee:

- Invite the current MEC for Agriculture, Mr Oupa Khoabane, as well as former MECs, Mr Mosebensi Zwane and Ms Mamiki Qabathe, to brief the committee on their involvement in the project;

- Invite the MEC for Finance, Elzabe Rockman, to brief the committee on how the NPA’s action may impact on the continued funding of this project, as well as table a detailed report on all monies paid to date and to whom;

- Invite the FDC to brief the committee on how the entity will approach the management of the project henceforth; and

- Invite the relevant law enforcement agencies to brief the committee on their investigations into the controversies surrounding this project and how this action will impact on the operations there.

The people of the Free State, as well as the intended beneficiaries of the Vrede Dairy Project, have a right to know the true extent of what happened at this project and how recent developments may impact on its current and future operations.

The DA urges the chairperson to seriously consider our request and schedule a meeting of the committee as soon as possible.

Issued by David van VuurenDA Chief Whip in the Free State Provincial Legislature, 31 January 2018