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NW public works staff 'threatened' for backing govt’s intervention

An ad hoc committee of Parliament has on Thursday heard the intervention team is doing well in unearthing irregular contracts and containing irregular expenditure.

FILE: Inter-ministerial task team led by Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma briefing the NCOP’s ad hoc committee for the first time on 14 June 2018 since the North West was placed under administration. Picture: Lindsay Dentlinger/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Public works staff in the North West are allegedly being threatened for supporting national government intervention in the province.

An ad hoc committee of Parliament has on Thursday heard the intervention team is doing well in unearthing irregular contracts and containing irregular expenditure.

But new Premier Job Mokgoro has raised concern over a lack of capacity to adequately address challenges facing the province.

The intervention team lead by Minister in the Presidency Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma says it's still in implementation mode.

But progress has been made to address service delivery challenges that sparked widespread civil unrest earlier this year.

Mpumi Mpofu, director general in the planning, monitoring and evaluation department, says rooting out corruption in the Public Works Department will take longer than the community expects.

“This is the area we've been forced to think about the security of intervention administrators and others because this is the area that relates to capital expenditure and big contracts.”

She says the focus right now is on addressing irregular contracts, dealing with unfavourable audit findings and strengthening tender processes.

DLAMINI ZUMA DISMISSES THREAT CLAIMS

Dlamini Zuma has dismissed claims that there's been resistance from the provincial government to the national intervention in the North West.

She says it's also untrue that no action is being taken against those threatening staff supporting the intervention team and the administrators themselves.

Dlamini Zuma says there's no contradiction in terms of the work being done by the intervention team, and the support it's getting from the five North West departments that have been placed under administration.

“But it doesn't mean there will not be tension between us coming into the province and the province… I'm not saying who is threatening in particular because if we knew, we would already have gotten those people arrested.”

Dlamini Zuma says the threats could also be coming from those who stand to lose their lucrative contracts.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)

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