Pricey system gathers dust in office of premier

Two years ago, the Eastern Cape’s office of the premier purchased a million-rand videoconferencing unit– but it has never been used and is gathering dust.

So premier Phumulo Masualle’s office has instituted a forensic investigation to determine how more than R970 000 was paid for a system that has never been fully functional since being installed.

Director-general Marion Mbina-Mthembu, administrative head of Masualle’s office, told the Bhisho legislature this week that a forensic investigation had been instituted after the system, supplied by Dimension Data at a cost of R970 232,could not be verified and was nonfunctional.

The system was installed in the premier’s tele media room in October2014, but has been giving officials in the premier’s office headaches ever since.

Mbina-Mthembu told the legislature’s portfolio committee the system was not doing what it was procured for, creating a platform for the office to hold video calls with its stakeholders.

Mbina-Mthembu said the system’s non-functionality was picked up when a verification of assets was done earlier this year.

“For the video conference system, you could see the person on the other side, but they can’t even see or hear you sometimes, as this system was not functioning fully.”

These revelations come just months after the same office installed a non-functional telephone system.

According to a Dimension Data report compiled in March this year, the office was warned from the start about problems that would render the system unusable.

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