SA minister requests audit into R37m Zimbabwe border fence project

Public works minister Patricia de Lille has asked for an investigation into a controversial border project commissioned by her own department.

Last month, De Lille announced that the department would be building a 40km fence along the SA-Zimbabwe border as part of efforts to prevent cases of Covid-19 from coming into the country.

However, the project’s R37m pricetag has been criticised — particularly after pictures emerged showing that the weeks-old fence had already been cut through and damaged.

In a statement, De Lille said she had asked auditor-general Kimi Makwetu to launch an “urgent, independent audit” into the project.

“In the spirit of transparency and accountability, I am asking the auditor-general to immediately commence with an external audit of the process followed by the department of public works and infrastructure in terms of the 40km Beitbridge border fence project,” she said.

De Lille’s spokesperson Zara Nicholson confirmed last week that the contractor on the project had already been paid R21m for work done.