Plot or not, state capture affects Free State taxpayers
11 September 2018
The inquiry into state capture confirmed that millions of rands were paid to media companies with Gupta ties in the Free State. The so-called publications, which include a community magazine and the New Age newspaper, in no way contribute to the quality of life of Free State residents. It is a blatant waste of tax payers' money and nothing is gained from it.
The FF Plus asked the Free State Premier, Sisi Ntombela, in the Free State Legislature to indicate whether the Free State government is going to launch its own investigation into the matter as nearly R80 million was paid to Gupta-linked media companies for, among other things, the procurement of newspapers for state departments. The money makes up part of the R260 million that was paid to these companies by the state between 2011 and 2018.
On Monday, the National Treasury admitted to the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture that out of all the provinces, the Free State spent the most money on publications by Gupta-companies. The office of the former Premier, Ace Magahshule, alone spent R53 million.
The investigation must determine whether such astronomical expenses are still being incurred, to which media companies the money is paid and what is being done to bring the squandering to an end. Such expenses are certainly not helping the Free State to prosper and are utterly unnecessary, particularly in a province that is basically bankrupt.
The focus of the Commission of Inquiry should not be on which ANC leaders are undermining each other or who is plotting against who, but on how government funds are being misused for political gain.
Tax money that is meant to be spent on South Africans may not be misused as internal ANC resources.
Now that the Treasury has revealed this, Ntombela has an opportunity to address the problem of state capture in the Free State. It is her premiership and her commitment to the Free State, and not her ties to an ANC faction, that will now be tested.
Issued by Tammy Wessels, FF Plus MPL: Free State Legislature, 11 September 2018