Corruption clampdown: minister announces sweeping changes for infrastructure projects

17 April 2019 | Web Article Number: ME201914367

Government & Municipal
Water & Effluent Management

IN an effort to root out corruption in the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS), Minister Gugile Nkwinti has announced sweeping changes in the management of major infrastructure projects.

Addressing a media at the department’s head office in Pretoria recently, he said the “blind contracting” of mega projects of water and sanitation to service providers had cost the department between R10 billion and R15 billion in recent years.

The department was working with law enforcement agencies to investigate corruption in the department and he was waiting for their report. However, three senior managers had since resigned from their posts to avoid being investigated, Nkwinti said.

Poor management in the department and not money, was at the heart of the department’s woes but he was working hard to turn around things, he added.

In terms of Sections 74 and 103 (2) of the National Water Act, Nkwinti issued a directive to Water Entity, the Trans–Caledon Tunnel Authority (TCTA) to provide programme management services to the department on the De–Hoop, Mzimvubu , Loskop, Xhariep Bulk Supply and Clanwilliam water projects.

In his directive, Minister Nkwinti said TCTA should utilize its capabilities and resources to increase support to DWS in its infrastructure mandate that will enable the effective delivery of water and sanitation services to the public.

He instructed TCTA to develop a business plan and conclude a service level agreement by the end of April. Once concluded, a technical task team will be established with officials from DWS, TCTA, Water Service Authorities, relevant institutions impacted by the projects and as well as provincial COGTA officials to analyse a suitable model for funding each project.

In addition, Minister Nkwinti issued another directive for the DWS to follow an applicable legislative framework in formalising a relationship with Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA).

DBSA will be entrusted with performing programme management services in the following projects: Giyani Water Project, Nandoni Nsami Pipeline, Nwamitwa Dam, Tzaneen Dam, Polokwane (Ebenezer and Olifants), and the Vaal Gamagara Project.

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