Training tenders awarded to SACP owned company

The revelation by Rapport today that a private training college, Lesatsi – partly owned by the South African Communist Party (SACP)’s investment wing, Masincazelane – has benefited to the tune of R235 million from tenders funded by the National Skills Fund (NSF) and the Services SETA (Sseta), both under control of the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), is greatly concerning.

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According to the Rapport, the contracts were awarded to LHR Solutions, trading as Letsatsi, since 2009 when SACP General-Secretary, Blade Nzimande, became the Minister of Higher Education and Training. Letsatsi has since been accused of poor service delivery and non-performance.

Nzimande must account for this serious conflict of interest and fully disclose the details relating to the tender process as well as the extent to which the SACP benefitted. As the head of the DHET and the SACP he must take responsibility for any impropriety.

This latest scandal is another clear example of how the ANC and its alliance partners use their position of power for personal enrichment as opposed to serving the needs of ordinary South Africans.

The numerous links between the SACP, Masincazelane, and Letsatsi represent a clear conflict of interest, similar to those seen in the awarding of Eskom contracts to Hitachi, which was partly owned by the ANC’s investment wing, Chancellor House.

In recent months South Africa has experienced a wave of protests by students against their financial exclusion from institutions of higher education as a result of the chronic underfunding of the system by the DHET. Just last week the ANC voted down 26 amendments to the budget set to reallocate wasteful expenditure in favour of prioritising that money for students.

All the while Minster Nzimande has been inconspicuous in his absence, denying that the situation is even a crisis, and falling far short of providing any leadership to address the matter.

The corruption of the ANC government is costing the South African economy billions every year and impacting negatively on the lives of all citizens by denying them basic services and opportunities. The DA will continue to fight for clean and effective government that puts the needs of citizens first.

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