Parliament, Tuesday, 29 March 2022 – The Leader of the Mpumalanga delegation in the National Council of Province (NCOP) Ms Audrey Maleka says while the provision of scholar transport for poor rural learners to get to school is a commendable intervention by government, the programme must also empower local transport operators in the province.
She was reacting to claims by small-scale transport operators from the Nkomazi Local Municipality that the bulk of the province’s contracts for provision of scholar transport were awarded to businessmen from outside the province, and allegations that government officials were also illegally benefiting from the scheme.
The delegation is in the province as part of the annual Provincial Week programme, and this year’s focus is provision of safe and reliable scholar transport in rural areas including mechanisms to control overloading, roadworthy vehicles, discrepancies between the number of learners and route distances, late transportation of learners, as well as fiscal wastages and corrupt practices in the provision of scholar transport.
“I think we must prioritise local people, it cannot be correct that the business side of the scholar transport programme only benefits foreigners and people from outside the province, that is not going to grow the local economy, and the department must also look into allegations of government officials benefiting from the scheme,” Ms Maleka said.
The delegation was also briefed by the provincial Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs and the Nkomazi municipality about the provision of water and sanitation in the area. The NCOP delegates also visited the Driekoppies Water Treatment plant which is undergoing upgrades and expected to address challenges of water shortage in Nkomazi.
Tomorrow the delegation will conduct oversight to various projects in the Bushbuckridge and Thaba Chweu local municipalities and also meet with scholar transport providers in these areas.
DETAILS OF THE VISIT
WEDNESDAY, 30 MARCH 2022
Venue: Bushbuckridge Local Municipality
Time:09h00 – 13h00
13h30 – 17h00 Oversight visit to Thaba Chweu Local Municipality
THURSDAY, 31 MARCH 2022
Venue: Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature Chamber
Event: Briefing on provision of safe and reliable scholar transport in rural areas, Basic service delivery by municipalities including the quality of road infrastructure.
ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE LEADER OF THE MPUMALANGA DELEGATION IN THE NCOP, MS AUDREY MALEKA.
For media enquiries or interviews with the Leader of the delegation, please contact:
Name: Sakhile Mokoena
Parliamentary Communication Services
Cell: 081 705 2130