The North West, which is governed by the ANC, is forging on with its donkey cart project, despite evidence of wrongdoing in the tender process that led to the purchase of 20 donkey carts for R780,000.
Department of Community Safety and Transport Management spokesperson, Oshebeng Alpheus Koonyaditse, says no one would derail the department from its project.
“I don’t know what the fuss is all about. This is a good project that will assist rural communities. We will continue with it in other areas,” he told Scrolla.Africa.
Koonyaditse wouldn’t comment further, saying he was in a meeting.
MEC for safety, Sello Lehari, has reportedly also defended the controversial project.
It has also been reported that some of the donkey carts have broken down barely two weeks after they were handed to the community.
The two-seater donkey cart was said to cost between R32,500 and R45,000.
The donkey carts project triggered backlash immediately after it was unveiled to the destitute rural communities of Dibono and Manwana districts last week.
To make matters worse, the 22-year-old director of LKT Business Enterprises, the company that won the tender, Mpho Ramongalo, says she knew nothing about the tender.
She says her company did not have a valid bank account as it was in the process of deregistration and had not bid for the tender.
The DA in the North West has lodged a formal complaint with the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to probe the controversial tender.
Freddy Sonakile, DA’s spokesperson for community safety and transport management, says the project is a scam.
“Once again, ordinary South Africans have been at the receiving end of what appears to be a donkey car scam,” says Sonakile.
Sonakile says more allegations are doing the rounds that the donkey carts were manufactured in 2017 and have been gathering dust in a warehouse at the Mahikeng Airport.
Attempts to get a comment from North West Premier Bushy Maape failed as his spokesperson could not be reached.
In 2020, the ANC government in the Eastern Cape was forced to recall the Covid-19 scooter project, which cost the taxpayer R10 million following a massive public outcry.