New KZN MEC must probe R7.8million worth of missing library magazines

Issued by Bradley Singh, MPL – DA KZN Spokesperson on Arts and Culture
06 Oct 2022 in Press Statements

The DA has written to KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Sports, Arts and Culture MEC, Amanda Bani-Mapena, calling on her to investigate allegations relating to the dodgy procurement of magazines for the province’s libraries.

The move comes almost five months after the DA first revealed that magazines purchased by the Department of Arts and Culture (DoAC) – to the value of R7.8million – had not been delivered to KZN’s libraries.

Despite the DA’s appeals to the former MEC, the matter remains unresolved, with the DoAC failing to provide reasonable explanations for both the purchase and the non-delivery of magazines. To add to this, the department has also not explained how the tender was awarded to a company that is not a magazine supplier.

Documents confirming payments to the company in question – which remain in the DA’s possession – further reveal that the company’s address is a residential flat and not a business capable of manufacturing and supplying R7.8 million worth of magazines. Interestingly, the same company also supplied plant seeds to KZN’s Department of Agriculture.

According to the Central Suppliers Database, the company is also not a VAT vendor despite an annual turnover of more than R10 million. It is compulsory for a business to register for VAT if the total value of taxable supplies made in any 12 consecutive months exceeds R1 million. This means that the company is not tax compliant and should have been disqualified from the tender process.

The lack of ethics by KZN’s DoAC indicates that looting public funds is its priority rather than service delivery.

Our province and our country have become riddled with tender fraud, yet nothing is done about it. This must stop. The DA believes that there is more than enough evidence to warrant the arrest of certain DoAC officials for ongoing fraud and corruption, particularly in this instance where payment was made before the magazines could even have been delivered.

We call on KZN Premier, Nomusa Dube-Ncube and her new Arts and Culture MEC to launch a full investigation and resolve this matter before it is simply forgotten and crooked individuals again go unpunished.