DA to ask Public Protector to investigate Minister Maswanganyi
The DA will write to the Public Protector, asking her to investigate the Minister of Transport, Joe Maswanganyi, for willfully misleading Parliament about meeting with the PRASA Board when he was appointed to the portfolio.
In a reply to a Parliamentary question, Minister Maswanganyi claimed to have met with all entities’ Boards and CEOs, including PRASA. This directly contradicts statements made by the previous chairperson Popo Molefe, who stated the Minister “refused” to meet with the board since his appointment as Minister.
Not only has the Minister failed to meet with the previous board, and lie about it – he has failed to appoint a new board. It is now 2 months since the previous Board’s term ended.
The failure to appoint a Board has resulted in PRASA failing to table its annual reports as there is uncertainty as to whether the acting CEO can be considered the Accounting Authority in terms of the PFMA. In a letter sent to Parliament, the Minister claims that “PRASA aims to submit these documents for tabling in Parliament by 31 October 2017”.
This clear admission on the absence of an accounting authority, brings into question all other contracts such as the R57bn loan agreement it entered into with the Export and Import Bank of China to finance the development of the Moloto Rail Development Corridor.
The Minister must be held accountable for his continued failure to address the disaster that is Prasa.
We wrote to the Minister on the 21st of September asking him to appoint a new board within ten days as PRASA has been without a Board since the previous board’s term ended 31st July 2017.
The 10-day notice has expired with no response from the Minister’s Office. His failure to appoint a new PRASA board has crippled PRASA’s ability to table its annual report and to function as per its mandate.
The Minister's inaction has aided and abated the chaotic situation at PRASA and allowed state capture functionaries free reign. With no accounting authority to allow prudent financial management, corrupt individuals have been allowed to raid the public purse and enrich themselves at the expense of the poor.
We call on the Public Protector to take urgent steps to hold the Minister accountable and ensure that sanity is restored at PRASA.
Statement issued by Manny de Freitas MP, DA Shadow Minister of Transport, 1 October 2017