COGTA’s Community Works Programme pays over R2 million to 909 dead people

Issued by Eleanore Bouw-Spies MP – DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Cooperative Governance & Traditional Affairs
21 Jun 2022 in News

Please find an attached soundbite by Eleanore Bouw-Spies MP.

A parliamentary reply to a DA question has revealed that third-party organisations, known as implementing agents, contracted by the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) to implement the Community Works Programme paid over R2 million to 909 deceased individuals.

The DA will be submitting follow-up questions to the Minister of COGTA, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, asking for details on the identity of the offending implementing agents and the steps that her Department will take to ensure that they are placed on the Treasury’s database of restricted suppliers.

Third-party implementing agents for the Community Works programme have become a cesspool of corruption and a lucrative avenue for connected cadres to enrich themselves. Last week, another DA reply revealed that the Department of COGTA is due to spend over R300 million in fees to these implanting agents. This represents 27% of the R1,2 billion that will be spent on the CWP programme by September 2022.

The DA reiterates its call that these implementing agents need to be scrapped and the Department must stop administering the CWP budget as this does not form part of its core function. Instead, the CWP budget should be allocated to municipality’s administered expanded public works programmes with the caveat that they provide quarterly reports on programme implementation. Using municipalities will cut out the fees paid to implementing agents and save the taxpayer millions of rand.

It is simply unconscionable that at a time when the unemployment rate is sitting at 45%, COGTA is wasting R300 million rand in administration fees instead of providing unemployed South Africans with an income through the public works programme.

Not only is COGTA paying ridiculous amounts in fees, but CWP workers are still struggling every month to get payment from these implementing agents for services rendered. They would rather corruptly pay deceased individuals than the tens of thousands of desperate South Africans contracted under the CWP.

Removing the implementation responsibility for the CWP away from COGTA and removing third-party implementing agents will result in significant cost-cutting and a better chance of participants being taken up in jobs either in municipalities or in the private sector.