With a budget of R689m this year, the Eastern Cape has the largest CWP in the country. Our probe found shocking evidence that an implementing agent, the Southern African Youth Movement (Saym), had awarded contracts to companies run by staff and their family members, while local suppliers were ignored and CWP workers went without tools, and even shoes. When we visited sites, a number of workers employed by the programme said they had been intimidated by the organisation's officials and warned not to protest about their shoddy protective clothing and the lack of adequate tools.
AmaBhungane found in Cogta’s records that at least 10 contracts worth R13.6m were awarded to companies run by Saym staff, their business partners and apparent relatives.
The cynicism of this conduct is astonishing even in a province long accustomed to officials hell-bent on ensuring their noses remain buried deep in the trough.
Belatedly an independent forensic probe into some of the allegations of irregularities is under way at the behest of Cogta. This is a step in the right direction but we urge the authorities to act with greater urgency to root out corruption in the programme.
In the words of one unsuccessful bidder for a CWP contract: “They’re robbing the Eastern Cape”.