Friday, December 4, 2009

Is the Social Relief for Abalone Fishers being Pilfered?

In the Cape Times of 4 December 2009 (p3 - "Fishermen short-changed on promised compensation"), journalist Melanie Gosling writes that MCM continues to refuse to account to the public how R80 million allocated by the National Treasury allegedly aimed as "social relief" for the commercial abalone industry is being spent. Gosling also approached Anix Consulting - the consulting firm Feike identified as having mysteriously surfaced at about the same time the divers had their promised payouts reduced from approximately R100 000 to R20 000. Anix Consulting confirms that they were "given a contract with Water and Environmental Affairs". If they were given a contract then they were appointed illegally and heads need to roll at MCM. In addition, Feike intends approaching the Special Investigations Unit regarding the increasingly apparent misappropriation of public funds.

The fact that MCM refuses to answer simple yet important questions about the role played by Anix Consulting, their terms of appointment and what they are being paid and also refuses to account for R80 million in public funds must raise clear concerns about the possibility of corruption, maladministration and mismanagement.

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