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Free State Legislature’s oversight role is being undermined

It is unacceptable that the meetings of important joint committees of the Free State Legislature, tasked with investigating the Estina Vrede Dairy Project and the Ramkraal Project, have been postponed.

These committees were supposed to meet this Friday, but it was postponed at the eleventh hour. This is not the first time that these committees' meetings have been postponed for no apparent reason since the committees were established in 2017.

The two joint committees were created in 2017 to investigate the two controversial projects.

There is, however, still no clarity about what the nearly R120 million was spent on almost a decade ago with the Ramkraal Project. A new Free State Legislature complex was supposed to have been constructed on the grounds of the historical Ramkraal prison in Bloemfontein. A large portion of the R120 million that was earmarked for the project was spent, but there are no signs of a legislature complex anywhere.

Therefore, it is important to hold all those involved in the Project accountable. The joint committee is tasked with investigating the matter, but has not been able to obtain any meaningful answers since 2017. In addition, the committee's functioning is undermined by a lack of cooperation from stakeholders.

This committee's meeting, which should have taken place on Friday, was postponed for no apparent reason.

The meeting of the joint committee tasked with investigating the Vrede Dairy Project was postponed because apparently the relevant departments of the Phumelela Local Municipality were not available.

Through this, the ANC once again demonstrates that it has no regard for the Free State Legislature's oversight role. These two controversial projects cost tax payers hundreds of millions of rand. The people of the Free State have the right to demand answers.

The relevant stakeholders' unwillingness to cooperate is unacceptable. The ANC-controlled Legislature is allowing these stakeholders to hamper its oversight mandate.

The FF Plus demands that the Legislature must summon the relevant departments and other stakeholders to appear before the committees and that no excuses may be accepted from now on.

The time has come to finalise these investigations in the interest of the people of the Free State and for those who wasted tax money to be brought to book.

Contact details: 076 629 6219

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