R37m wasted on fence that barely slowed down illegal immigration – Mashaba

Beitbridge fence costing R37 million damaged within 24 hours. Photo: Twitter @HermanMashaba

Herman Mashaba has pleaded with the minister to institute a full forensic investigation to determine whether criminal activity had taken place in calculating the fence’s cost.

Founder of The People’s Dialogue Herman Mashaba says people are rightly outrage of the images of a barbed-wire fence being erected at the Beitbridge border post between South Africa and Zimbabwe, costing R37 million.

The department of public works defended the fence in parliament claiming it was doing its job, the fence is 40km long.

Mashaba said in a statement on Thursday: “Public Works Minister Patricia De Lille confirmed the auditor general would investigate the work done, but most South Africans could see that the fence was not going to last a day and it didn’t.”

There have been media reports showing the fence having been vandalised only days after it was erected.

Mashaba said the people want clarity around the tender process, alleging the company responsible for erecting the fence, Magwa Construction, the sole director passed away in 2014 and also trades under the name Caledon River Properties, their forensic team found.

He said the public did not get value for money: “South Africans have made it clear to The People’s Dialogue that they are fed up with the causal approach our national government takes to border control, especially in time of the worldwide pandemic.”

The former mayor of Johannesburg said the value for money of the contract was insufficient.

Mashaba has pleaded with the minister to institute a full forensic investigation to determine whether criminal activity had taken place in calculating the costs of the fence.

“I am calling on Minister De Lille to take this matter seriously and take serious steps beyond what has been announced so far.

“What we need is clarity around this tender and accountability for the officials in government that wasted R37 million on a fence barely slowed down illegal immigrants and flow of counterfeit goods into South Africa.”

Mashaba said De Lille’s attempt to distance herself from the tender process did not relieve her of her duty to provide leadership on the issue of border control.

(Compiled by Sandisiwe Mbhele)

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.



today in print