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Fraud alleged at youth chamber

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The NCYCCI apparently received funding of R2.8 million from the Department of Finance, Economic Affairs and Tourism

Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency(ANA)

A WHISTLE-BLOWER has urged that officials involved in the alleged misuse of funds that were allocated to the Northern Cape Youth Chamber of Commerce and Industries (NCYCCI) from provincial government should be immediately removed.

The NCYCCI apparently received funding of R2.8 million from the Department of Finance, Economic Affairs and Tourism.

A member of the NCYCCI claimed that a company owned by a member of the Frances Baard Youth Chamber of Commerce and Industries was paid R1.8 million to assist in arranging the provincial conference that took place on July 4 at Frances Baard District Municipality.

“The HOD of the Department of Economic Development and national leaders of the NYCCI of South Africa were prevented from entering the conference.

Among the breakdown of costs sent to the department were
R270 000 for a Kombi, fuel for the duration of 30 days, wash and valet and R295 850 for delegates packages including caps, jackets, beanies, scarves, notebooks and pens.

Marketing and promotional material for banners, pamphlets, posters and USB sticks amounted to R420 000.

Charged

Media and digital communication material amounting to
R242 099 was charged to the department, while six laptops, six printers and another five laptops for regional secretaries as well as one of the provincial secretaries amounted to R110 000.

The whistle-blower stated that one of the beneficiaries who pocketed the money purchased an Audi S5 with the proceeds.

“A company owned by a senior member of the NYCCISA claimed R295 850 for supplying conference regalia for 61 delegates at the conference, while none of the items claimed, including jackets, beanies, scarves, notebooks and pens, were supplied during the conference.

“There were no marketing designs, HD video production, speakers, mixers, cordless mics, not even a single press release was broadcast on radio or newspaper.

“The provincial executive member of the chamber claimed
R420 000 for the promotional and brand materials, banners, posters and USB sticks that were never delivered.”

A member of the youth chamber stated that accommodation and two meals per day were provided for 250 delegates at a cost of
R465 000 while less than 50 people, including guests, attended the conference.

“There were 15 delegates from the Frances Baard region, no one came from Namakwa, 10 delegates attended from the John Taolo Gaetsewe region, 13 from the Pixley ka Seme region and nine from the ZF Mgcawu delegation.”

The member of the NCYCCI called for the voluntary resignations of those who were implicated in this “blatant corruption” before their own members took it upon themselves to remove them.

“The national structure of the chamber must expel all these members so that they can attend their court cases and leave the chamber with peace. Those who were entrusted with empowering the youth and upcoming businesses in the Province should be ashamed of themselves for chasing self-enrichment. The law must take its cause – those implicated must be arrested.”

NCYCCI provincial secretary Benton Sithole dismissed the allegations as being “utter nonsense, misleading, incorrect and totally devoid of the truth”.

“This hogwash was designed to tarnish the name of the NCYCCI and its leadership. Furthermore, we would like to clarify that the regional and provincial conference was successfully held where the incumbents were democratically elected. All these allegations are unfounded and untrue. We invite any investigation.”

Another NCYCCI member implicated in the allegations added that the statements were inaccurate. “I will take legal action for slander if my name is mentioned.”

The spokesperson for the Hawks in the Province, Captain Nomthandazo Mnisi, indicated that no formal complaint had been received regarding the matter.

The Department of Finance, Economic Affairs and Tourism indicated that it would respond to media enquiries yesterday but no comment was received by the time of going to print.