South Africa News

Lindiwe Sisulu’s Rapid Response Team spends R3.73 million on travel expenses – DA

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is calling on the Minister of Human Settlements Mmamoloko Kubayi and the Minister of Water and Sanitation Senzo Mchunu to immediately disband the two National Rapid Response Task Teams (NRRTTs) established by the previous minister, Lindiwe Sisulu.

Sisulu personally appointed members of the two controversial NRRTTs.

It is believed that many of the appointments happened without them even submitting CVs.

The appointees include Fees Must Fall, PAC, and COPE members

“It has long been suspected that that minister Sisulu may have used state resources to create a political war room disguised as a rapid response team,” said DA shadow minister of human settlements Emma Powell.

Powell said there had been no outstanding governance-related interventions in troubled areas since those units were formed.

But despite ongoing calls to disband the units and formal referrals to both the Public Service Commission and the Office of the Public Protector, the units remain in operation at taxpayers’ cost.

The salaries alone cost the state a whopping R16 million each year.

A recent question to Parliament has now revealed that between March 2019 and the onset State of Disaster, the Water and Sanitation NRRTT alone had billed the almost bankrupt department over R3.7 million in travel and accommodation expenses.

This is in addition to Sisulu’s top aide, Mphumzi Mdekazi, single-handedly claiming more than R1.76 million in travel expenses since May 2019.

“It’s inconceivable that a gang of politically appointed fat cats has been permitted to spend millions of rands of taxpayers money on lavish travel, accommodation, and personal laundry services,” said Powell.

See below the expenses submitted by the National Rapid Response Task Team from 1 March and during the National State of Disaster period:

  • Mzwakhe Masoue: Accommodation/domestic air travel/car hire and transfers – R468,446
  • Maxwele Chumani: Accommodation/ domestic air travel/car hire and transfers – R335,875
  • Likhaya Ngqezana: Accommodation/ domestic air travel/car hire and transfers – R543,363
  • Simphiwe Ngxakeni: Accommodation/ domestic air travel/car hire and laundry – R386,727
  • Suliwe Shilwayi: Accommodation/ domestic air travel/car hire and transfers – R488,736
  • Zolile Burns-Ncamashe: Accommodation/ domestic air travel/car hire and transfers – R306,296

-The Citizen

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