Scholar transport provider ordered to pay back the money

Thursday, October 20, 2022

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) says more cases have been enrolled against some service providers of the North West Department of Community Safety and Transport Management, which have allegedly been unlawfully overcharging the department.

This after the Special Tribunal ordered that service provider, Maczola Tours CC, pay back illegal gains from inflated school transport monies paid to it to transport children in a rural part of the province.

SIU spokesperson, Kaizer Kganyago, explained that the corruption busting unit’s mandate to look into the affairs of the department was authorised by President Cyril Ramaphosa’s proclamation following allegations of “irregularities concerning the appointment and overpayment of service providers contracted in terms of the tender”.

“The SIU investigated to establish whether there were any irregularities and unlawfulness in the procurement process that led to the appointment of service providers in terms of the tender, lack of departmental oversight in respect of services rendered, the inflation of kilometers travelled by service providers when rendering the services and the resultant overpayment by the second applicant to service providers,” he said.

Kganyago said investigations into Maczola Tours found evidence that the service provider had overstated kilometres travelled for nearly seven years to the financial loss of the department.

“The SIU investigations revealed that Maczola Tours inflated the kilometers travelled when rendering the service…[and] claimed excess payment from the Department when they provided scholar transport between October 2010 and June 2017. The SIU’s evidence suggests that Maczola Tours benefited unlawfully from the Department by an excess amount of R180 793.20,” Kganyago said.

He added that there is still a way to go until the money is back in the department’s coffers.

“The Special Tribunal ordered the SIU to file an affidavit explaining how it determined the figure in question by Friday 28 October 2022. While Maczola Tours also needs to submit an affidavit responding to the costs in line with the SIU’s calculations by 4 November 2022.

“The Special Tribunal will make a final decision on the payable amount after the submission of the affidavits. There are other cases enrolled in the in the Special Tribunal awaiting adjudication and will result in recoveries for the department,” he said. –