Corruption and misuse of public funds were the main points of discussion during a visit by the North West delegation to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) and with members of the North West Legislature, to water facilities and treatment plants in Brits, Letlhabile and Mothotlung last week.
The delegation expressed its shock by the poor state of the facilities and raised serious concerns about the poor state of the Brits Water Treatment Plant which is dysfunctional, and lack of maintenance that affects water distribution to communities in Brits and surrounding areas. “This is in spite of the fact that millions of rands of public funds have been used on this plant, resulting in wasteful and fruitless expenditure,” the delegation said in a statement.
The delegation heard allegations of corruption that are being levelled against project managers. The project was started in 2014 and its completion was supposed to be in 2019, however, the envisaged new completion date is now in 2021.
The delegation also visited the Letlhabile Waste Water Treatment Plant and Mothotlung Waste Water Treatment Plant where projects have collapsed. It was shocked by the poor state of these facilities. The collapse of these projects is attributed to vandalism and poor security. The delegation called for accountability and consequence management for those who are responsible.
“This has resulted in severe water shortages in the Madibeng Local Municipality and has posed serious environmental and health challenges to the communities.”
Chairperson of the Select Committee on Cooperative Governance, Water and Sanitation, China Dodovu, said he was concerned that in all the reports presented by the provincial government to the NCOP delegation, there are no concrete plans to turn around the dire situation in the municipalities in the provinces.
“Honourable Premier and MEC of CoGTA, we need a turnaround plan as a matter of urgency.” He urged CoGTA to utilise section 54 of the Constitution to assist the municipalities to strengthen their capacity as they are collapsing due to financial crises.
The Chair of Chairs in the North West Legislature, Mmoloki Cwaile, has called on the provincial department of CoGTA to stick to legislative powers to resolve challenges that are facing the municipalities and desist from blaming political infighting.
“The challenges experienced by the department are as a result of dereliction of duty and the department should develop an integrated plan to support municipalities.”