Pretoria – Cosatu in the North West has called for a full scale investigation into the donkey cart tender which was approved by the Department of Community Safety and Transport Management in the province.
The call comes after the government bought 20 donkey carts valued at about R780 000 to help transport Dibono and Manawana villagers to clinics and schools.
The North West’s Community Safety Department said these carts would help to alleviate transport challenges faced by the rural community.
Community Safety MEC Sello Lehari defended the project, warning people to refrain from peddling unsubstantiated information on social media.
According to the Sunday Times, the prices of the carts ranged from R32 500 for a two-seater to R45 500 for the four-seater.
Cosatu said from what they had gathered from the public domain, it seemed that it was an underhand process and that it was in violation of the Public Finance Management Act.
“It is unheard of that a donkey cart can have a maintenance plan of three years! The department must come clean and clarify what is there to maintain.
“As Cosatu we also view this action by the ANC-led government in the province as an admission to the fact that the ANC has failed to transform the lives of our people in the country and wants to keep them in a primitive way of life without making any improvement,” the union said.
The union added that it was an insult to people to expect them to carry the sick to health-care facilities using donkey carts.
“It is also an insult to our people to expect them to remain as drawers of water while the rich continue to have piped water on a daily basis and also have the luxury to have water for recreational use.”
Meanwhile, Mpho Ramongalo, the director of LKT Business Enterprise, which has been named as the manufacturer of the 20 donkey carts, said her company was not operational and they they had never bid for any tender.
Speaking to Newzroom Afrika, Ramongalo said she only knew about the project after Sunday Times called her and she referred the reporter to her mother, thinking maybe she knew something.
The mother told the broadcaster that she was also surprised as the company doesn’t have a bank account and proper certificates to run a business.