ANC Must Account for Theft of Alexandra Renewal Project Money

ActionSA notes the joint findings made by the Office of the Public Protector and the South African Human Rights Commission concerning the poor socio-economic conditions and lack of essential services in Alexandra (Alex).

This comes after an investigation by both institutions following community protests dating back to April 2019. The challenges faced by the residents of Alex are long-standing and substantial. For years, empty promises by the ANC have left the people of this community without hope.

The finding by the Office of the Public Protector, concerning the Alexandra Renewal Project (ARP), are crucial and will go a long way towards giving the people of Alex deserved answers to what became of the money meant to drive development in Alex. 

Effectively, the City of Johannesburg has 60 working days to submit, to the Public Protector, the City’s Group Forensic Investigative Services’ (GFIS) investigative report into allegations of corruption and mismanagement in the ARP. This report was commissioned by the multi-party government, which I led, following concerning evidence of corruption that undermined efforts to bring development to the residents of Alex. GFIS had received information that the ARP, which was launched in 2001, served as a slush fund for the ANC whilst it controlled the City of Johannesburg and the Provincial Government. 

At the time, the multi-party government I led also called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to join the fight to end corruption by instituting a Special Investigation Unit (SIU) into the ARP. Choosing to protect his corrupt ANC cadres, the President did not act and protected ANC corruption. 

The remedial action set out by the Office of Public Protector brings the residents of Alex one step closer to uncovering the truth. The Public Protector has also directed that Gauteng Premier, David Makhura, request President Ramaphosa to issue an SIU Proclamation for an SIU investigation into the ARP. 

The SIU must investigate allegations of:

  • Procurement fraud and/or irregularities; 
  • Post facto approvals, irregular awards, advance payments;
  • Conflict of interests; and
  • Unauthorized expenditure, fruitless and wasteful expenditure, and any other form of maladministration and/or misappropriation of public funds.  

Where appropriate, the SIU must institute proceedings to recover public funds stolen. 

The time has come for both Makhura and Ramaphosa to finally put their words into action and ensure that corruption – from the ANC’s ranks – is dealt with using the full might of the law. This will be the true test of their resolve to fighting corruption and assisting the people of Alexandra.

 

Through the multi-party government, the following development was invested in Alex:

  • Electrification of 686 stands in informal settlements;
  • The extension of operating hours in the library serving Alexandra;
  • The extension of clinic operating hours at the River Park Clinic;
  • The provision of substance abuse treatment facilities at the River Park Clinic;
  • R60 million over 3 years to complete the new Banakekelen Hospice and Clinic in Alexandra;
  • R80 million being spent in the 2018/19 financial year by Joburg Water on replacing water and sewer pipes in Alexandra;
  • The construction of the Joe Nhlanhla pedestrian bridge in the 2018/19 financial year;
  • The completion of the Jukskei Water Management Plan to protect people and property close to the Jukskei River in times of flooding. 

As ActionSA, we remain committed to working with the residents of Alex to bring much-needed development to the community. 

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