OUTA exposes National Lottery Commission’s Limpopo ablutions disaster
In May 2019, OUTA conducted site visits to eight Limpopo schools after receiving a copy of a report titled “Limpopo Sanitation Report.” The report, issued to the NLC by the contractor Zibsifusion, detailed the contractor’s progress regarding the building of ablution facilities in eight schools located in Polokwane and Venda. Red flags were raised by OUTA because the NLC awarded Zibsifusion R10 million to build ablutions in ten schools and not eight. “This concerning irregularity triggered our site visit to the beneficiary schools in Limpopo,” says Dominique Msibi, OUTA’s Portfolio Manager for Education. The funds were paid to Zibsifusion prior to it's progress report dated March 2019.
The purpose of the site visit was for OUTA to assess the quality and progress of the ablution construction sites detailed in Zibsifusion’s report. It was quite apparent by the state of construction that minimal work had started, even though Zibsifusion had already received the full R10 million from the NLC. In fact, most of the construction sites suggested that work had only recently begun, if at all. "This begs the question: what was the Zibsifusion progress report based on?” Msibi asks.
Based on this site visit, OUTA has drafted a report on its findings. This report outlines in detail the state of ablution facilities at these schools, as well as what work had been done between November 2018 (when Zibsifusion received the funds) and May 2019 (when OUTA visited the eight schools).
OUTA condemns the appalling state of the ablution facilities at these schools, which are supposed to be have been improved substantially given the large amount of money the NLC paid to Zibsifusion. OUTA would also like to see that the NLC employees who are involved in disbursing millions of rands irregularly are held accountable for misusing taxpayers’ money. “The findings of this site visit are only the tip of the iceberg regarding our investigations into the NLC,” concludes Msibi.