DA pressure forces investigation into the murky affairs of IDT

Issued by Sello Seitlholo MP – DA Shadow Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure
24 Aug 2023 in News

Following a sustained campaign by the Democratic Alliance (DA), in which we repeatedly called for an independent forensic investigation into maladministration within the Independent Development Trust (IDT), the IDT Board has announced that it has taken a resolution to commission two forensic investigations which will be conducted by National Treasury with the support of law firm, ENS Africa.

The IDT is a Schedule 2 state-owned entity that manages investments in social infrastructure on behalf of the government. It reports to the Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure who is the shareholder representative.

Over the years, the IDT has been so badly run that in 2021, the then Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure, Patricia de Lile, contemplated closing down the Trust. Insiders and whistleblowers have raised alarm over an entrenched culture of fear and victimisation, a claim that is substantiated by significant number of unfair dismissal cases, resulting in legal fees exceeding R8 million and employee compensation reaching R12 million.

Of particular concern, has been the controversy surrounding the tenure of the acting CEO, Ms Tebogo Malaka – who has been the head of IDT since 2021. The question on everyone’s mind is why it has taken the IDT this long to appoint a substantive CEO, especially considering that the IDT is an organisation in deep crisis.

Even as the acting CEO, it is still not yet clear whether Malaka’s contract has been formalised, which raises serious doubts about the validity of the decisions that she has taken to date in that role. My colleague, Samantha Graham Mare MP, previously raised issue with her substantial salary, amounting to approximately R2.8 million per annum, which appears to have been self-determined despite her apparent lack of experience in managing a complex organisation.

When she was the Chief Accounting Officer for the IDT, Malaka is alleged to have embarked on a process to lease a new office building without following proper procurement procedures or obtaining approval from the Board. Although this was eventually stopped by the Board, it raises serious question about her integrity as an executive at IDT.

The DA looks forward to the release of the forensic investigation’s final report, which will pave the way to hold individuals responsible for maladministration at IDT to account. We can only turn the tide against corruption if we rid the public sector of bad apples that are only concerned with filling their pockets with taxpayers’ money.