The Democratic Alliance Shadow Deputy Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure Samantha Graham-Mare says the Beitbridge border fence reveals true incompetence of the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI).
The fence which saw the ministry of Public Works using almost R1 million per kilometer on a 1.8 meter high wire fence meant to halt illegal border crossings into South Africa along the Beitbridge border post was described by Graham as a “washing line and total waste”.
“South African tax payers have forked out a whopping R37 million for what is effectively a washing line to keep COVID-19 from reaching South Africa from Zimbabwe,” she said.
Graham adds that it is ‘regrettable’ that after Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure Patricia de Lille had announced the construction of a 40 kilometers fence totaling to R37 million, pictures emerged of gaping holes in the new fence within days.
The fence was also reported to have been stolen, but minister De Lille responded that there would be increased security around fence to ensure that there were no more breaches.
Democratic Alliance deputy minister of Public Works, blasted such a response from Patricia de Lille citing that it makes no sense that the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure spent so much money constructing a fence that would require security to safeguard it.
“What sort of fence did we procure that required it’s own security, what quality of material was used that it can barely withstand a wire cutter and who drafted the specifications for this fence,” said Graham.
Graham also adds that she had submitted questions to minister De Lille around the appointment of the contractor, as well as the specifications of the fence and the value for money from the tax payers.
“Sadly, Minister De Lille’s fence is a R37 million band-aid on a bullet wound. If we are going to protect or borders, we need a snake of fire not a washing line costing almost R1 million per kilometer,” she said.