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The Chairperson of the Select Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Water and Sanitation and Human Settlements, Mr China Dodovu, and the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Water and Sanitation, Mr Robert Mashego, welcome the signing of a proclamation by President Cyril Ramaphosa authorising the Special Investigating Unit to probe the R290 million tender for the refurbishment of the Rooiwal Wastewater Treatment Works in Tshwane.
The chairpersons view the proclamation as an important step in getting justice for the people of Hammanskraal and a further reassurance that malfeasance in public procurement will not be tolerated.
“As a committee we have been unequivocal in our stance that the delivery of services should not be compromised by selfish profit making and corruption. Also, when a contract is awarded, quality services must be provided and that is not the case with this particular contract,” Mr Dodovu said.
The respective committees have raised concerns with the lack of tangible progress in resolving the water quality challenges in Hammanskraal. During respective visits to Tshwane, both committees called for resolutions to the challenges and were assured that one of the critical interventions was the refurbishment of the Rooiwal Wastewater plants.
“The committee then made it clear that procurement policies must be followed, and that monitoring is a critical pillar to ensure the success of the planned intervention. It is in this context that we are pleased that a thorough investigation will be undertaken,” said Mr Mashego.
In welcoming the investigation, the chairpersons emphasised the need for prosecution of anyone found to have acted irregularly in the awarding of the tender. “Prosecution against municipal officials and businesspeople linked to the contract as well as recovery of taxpayers monies must follow the investigation to ensure that the resources are recovered and rechannelled to resolving the challenges in Tshwane,” Mr Mashego emphasised.
The proclamation will probe any unauthorised, irregular, or fruitless and wasteful expenditure incurred by the Tshwane Municipality or the state in respect of tender number USD WS 30-2017/18 for the construction of phase 1 upgrades and urgent refurbishment at the Rooiwal Wastewater Treatment Works stretching back to 2018.
Both chairpersons consider it unacceptable that companies linked to the contract amounting to R291 996 799 were paid by City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality for the completion of only 60% of the first phase of the upgrade. “This points to the undermining of the objects of local government as stated in the Constitution as the metro seemingly failed to ensure the provision of services to communities in a sustainable manner and had a direct negative impact in promoting a safe and healthy environment,” Mr Dodovu said.
While the chairpersons do not want to preempt the outcomes of the investigation, they highlighted that processes to backlist any service provider who has been found to have acted wrongly must be implemented earnestly at the completion of the investigation. “We must move with speed to blacklist companies that are identified to have acted irregularly. At the end of the day public procurement will only be insulated from malfeasance if there is adequate accountability and prosecution against irregularity,” Mr Dodovu added.
Issued by the Parliamentary Communication Services on behalf of the Chairperson of the Select Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Mr China Dodovu