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Premier Mabuza instructs Cabinet to verify infrastructure projects

27 January 2013

Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza today [Sunday, 27 January 2013] called an urgent Cabinet meeting in Nelspruit where only two items were discussed.

The items on the agenda were a prompt intervention for the Department of Human Settlement and the African Peer Review Mechanism.

With regards to the interventions for the Department of Human Settlements, the Premier instructed all the MECs to spend the next three days verifying information on housing projects of the department as from tomorrow until Wednesday [Monday 28 – Wednesday 30 January 2013].

This follows concerns which emanated from a meeting on Friday [25 January 2013] between the Premier, senior management of the Department of Human Settlements and the service providers contracted to build RDP houses that they might not honour the deadline of this financial year.

At a meeting on Friday, the Premier gave the contractors an ultimatum to complete and “leave sites” of their projects as early as March 15 this year.

At a Cabinet meeting today, the Premier however did not limit the verifications only to the Department of Human Settlements, but has called for all other infrastructure related projects of the departments of Public Works, Education and Health also to be inspected.

“After meeting with the contractors, it is clear that the situation is not good, we must take a collective responsibility as the executive council. We need to intervene urgently; or else we are chasing a moving shade.
“The evaluation and monitoring of government projects should be the responsibility of the leadership of the departments in order for us to detect if things are not going well. If things are indeed not going well, the leadership should alert us for a faster intervention,” said Mabuza.

He explained that all members of the executive council should put on hold their commitments for this week and spend the next three days validating the information on infrastructure related projects as the situation needed an urgent intervention.

He added that information which would be derived from such an exercise would assist him to report accurately during the state of the province address scheduled for March this year.

“Delivering infrastructure projects is one area we are failing in as a provincial government. The behaviour generally of government ends us negatively affecting the people out there.
“We have been criticised left and right for not delivering the houses to our people and it is our behaviour as a government that has led to people manipulating the system.
“The department has given a responsibility of identifying the beneficiaries to the contractors when we know very well that it is not their responsibility. That is why people have said these houses have eyes, we have outsourced a very crucial responsibility,” said Mabuza.

The MECs have been deployed to different municipalities to check progress unannounced on infrastructure projects such as schools, clinics, roads and houses.

With regards to APRM, the Premier also instructed MEC Madala Masuku, Candid-Mashego-Dlamini, MEC Reginah Mhaule and the provincial administration’s Director-General Dr Nonhlanhla Mkhize to convene a provincial APRM Consultative Conference early in February as required by the Department of Public Service and Administration.

He urged them to consult more stakeholders before the Consultative Conference as the deadline was nearer and the Mpumalanga Provincial Government was expected to contribute it to the country report of APRM.

The APRM is a self-monitoring instrument agreed upon by the member states of the African Union. The framework is aimed at encouraging and building responsible leadership through self-assessed process, constructive peer dialogue, and sharing of information and common experiences in order to reinforce successful and exemplary practices amongst African countries.

Prior to be conference there would be consultation with various stakeholders and communities are advised to make inputs to be consolidated into one provincial report.

Issued by Zibonele Mncwango
Spokesperson: Mpumalanga Premier
Tel: (013) 766 – 2453
Mobile: 079 491 0163

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