Finalising of probe into Beit Bridge fence a painfully slow process - De Lille

It’s been nearly a year since Parliament first called for consequences on the issue of the Beit Bridge border fence, which was found not fit for purpose.

Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure Patricia De Lille tabling her department budget vote in Parliament on 10 July 2019. Picture: @DepPublicWorks/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia de Lille has conceded that finalising investigations into the Beit Bridge border fence had been "painfully slow".

She’s been in and out of Parliament accounting for the 40 kilometre fence which cost taxpayers R37 million during the lockdown.

On Tuesday, Parliament’s finance watchdog Scopa questioned De Lille about the slow pace in consequence management and investigations.

It’s been nearly a year since Parliament first called for consequences on the issue of the Beit Bridge border fence, which was found not fit for purpose.

Members of Scopa on Tuesday received an update from Minister De Lille about what action had been taken based on a number of Scopa recommendations.

Chairperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa: "What we want is for consequence management to run its course and hence I was saying earlier on it is clearly a dawning on us that you are saddled with a department where consequence management was an exception and not a norm."

De Lille has told members the process has been regrettably slow: "We will certainly try and speed up the process but it is painfully slow, especially the consequence management."

The committee will request further reports from De Lille and other departments like treasury and the Special Investigating Unit (SIU).

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