Where is the proof? EDTEA asks DA

The Democratic Alliance Provincial Leader, Francois Rodgers and DA KZN EDTEA spokesperson, Heinz De Boer at the Special Investigating Unit (SIU). Picture: DA KZN/Facebook

The Democratic Alliance Provincial Leader, Francois Rodgers and DA KZN EDTEA spokesperson, Heinz De Boer at the Special Investigating Unit (SIU). Picture: DA KZN/Facebook

Published Oct 17, 2023


Durban — The DA has come under scrutiny after presenting allegations without any proof concerning the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA).

The EDTEA said the press briefing in Durban on Tuesday was based on documents that had been “pick pocketed and fabricated”.

The DA hurled corruption and irregularity allegations at the EDTEA, accusing the department of having put up a massive budget of R28 million to host the Summer Awards in the province.

DA KZN Provincial leader Francois Rodgers said the DA had an enormous amount of information around corruption allegations and that it was planning on handing it over to the Special Investigative Unit (SIU). No date on when this would take place was given.

Rodgers said that as the official opposition, it was their duty to make the public aware of any irregularities taking place within the KZN government. Rodgers said that even though EDTEA insisted it had been receiving clean audits, it did not mean that everything was functioning properly within that department.

Rodgers further said that EDTEA was one of the biggest departments within the KZN provincial government, therefore for it to spend money “willy-nilly” was unacceptable.

Rodgers said EDTEA MEC Siboniso Duma owed the public an explanation around his department’s shenanigans.

“Using the department’s money to host lavish parties is not the duty of EDTEA, but a waste of the taxpayers’ hard-earned money. Spending R3 million on goody bags at the promenade, his department’s employees being parachuted into positions they do not qualify for, firing an entire Ezemvelo KZN board, and releasing an HOD, while replacing him with someone without any proper employment channels are all what EDTEA should answer for at the SIU,” Rodgers said.

Rodgers also alleged that an intern who had been employed by the department for only three months was allegedly promoted to a senior department employee.

He added that within Tourism KZN, board members were said to be on a witch hunt against some of the entity’s staff members.

“Tourism KZN and Ezemvelo KZN are two of the department’s entities, because of political interference, that have moved from bad to worse,” Rodgers said.

Spokesperson for EDTEA Ndabe Sibiya said the DA leaders did not present evidence to back up allegations.

“Embarrassingly, both DA leaders Francois Rogers and Heinz de Boer admitted on camera that their press briefing was around allegations based on documents that had been pick pocketed and fabricated,” Sibiya said.

“When probed by journalists, they boldly admitted there were no regularities around procurement processes associated with the South African Music Awards,” Sibiya said.

Sibiya added that the DA further admitted the South African Music Awards and other national and international events were needed to boost tourism, the creative and culture industry, and other sectors of the economy.

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