I have read a couple stories in the last few weeks that really highlight how naive our government ministers and officials and the ruling party, generally speaking, are. The most recent article is in today’s Sunday Times and is titled "Gautrain: who gets the gravy" and it reveals how cabinet ministers and other high ranking government officials indirectly have shares in the consortium that was granted the tender to build South Africa’s first high speed train, the Gautrain.
These officials include Home Affairs Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa- Nqakula, Education Minister Naledi Pandor and Deputy Health Minister Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge. The two ministers sat in on a cabinet meeting which approved the tender despite disapproval by the parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport. The project has been further criticised in the light of a generally poor public transport system.
The problem with this arrangement is that it begs the question on what basis the consortium concerned, the Bombela Concession was granted the tender and whether the proper processes were followed. In light of the Shaik corruption trial and the anticipated Zuma corruption trial these links are worrying. They point to a hopelessly naive government (at best) or a corrupt government (at worst).