MEC Maile, Gauteng Partnership Fund Leadership Clear Air on Allegations Following Thorough Investigation

Johannesburg, 13 November 2023 – In a significant revelation today, the MEC for Human Settlements and Infrastructure Development, Mr Lebogang Maile presented a comprehensive overview of the investigation into the allegations surrounding funding and loans to Nonkwelo Investments by the Gauteng Partnership Fund (GPF). The investigation aimed to address concerns raised by a News24 article in July 2023, and provide clarity on the reported irregularities.

Contrary to media reports suggesting a disbursal of R30 million, the investigation confirmed that the actual amount disbursed on the project was R7,246,126.83. Importantly, this substantial difference underscores the need for accurate reporting and emphasises the commitment of the GPF to transparent financial practices.

The disbursement, as clarified in the report, was directed into the project, contrary to previous misconceptions. This dispels any speculation about the misallocation of funds, as the investigation found no evidence of maladministration or corruption within the GPF’s handling of the Nonkwelo Investments project.

Furthermore, the report exonerates the trustees, employees, and even the Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa, Mr Paul Mashatile from any conflict of interest, affirming the integrity of the individuals associated with the GPF.

The CEO of the GPF, Ms. Lindiwe Kwele said following a press conference held at the organisation’s Sandton offices: “We have proactively responded to lessons learned from past projects, implementing enhanced appraisal and screening processes. The introduction of controls such as the Technical Credit Risk Committee (TCRC) and the implementation of policies like the Delegation of Authority (DOA), Charter for the TCRC, and the Politically Exposed Person policy reflect our organisation’s commitment to robust governance practices.”

She added that, crucially, the Auditor General (AG) had audited the GPF and found no malice in the project, further affirming the organisation’s commitment to financial transparency and accountability.

The GPF has noted that the Nonkwelo Investments project’s trajectory was not unique as the series of events was common to other projects, such as selection as an Entrepreneur Empowerment Property Fund Program (EEPF) participant, approval of EEPF funding, withdrawal of funding by the National Housing Finance Corporation (NHFC), full funding by the GPF, changes in project scope, and the conclusion of a settlement agreement for an incomplete project allowing the GPF to dispose of the property without a court order. This context places the Nonkwelo project within the broader framework of the GPF’s historical initiatives, approved over a decade ago.

In conclusion, MEC Maile expressed gratitude for the diligent work of the investigative team and underscored the importance of learning from past experiences. The GPF’s commitment to continuous improvement and adherence to stringent governance measures will undoubtedly contribute to the organisation’s sustained integrity and reliability in future endeavours.

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