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Khato Civils: Govt has spent too much money to abandon Giyani water project

Eyewitness News reported on Thursday that the multi-billion project, which was meant to supply water to 55 villages in the Giyani area, is now in limbo.

Picture: www.khatocivils.com

JOHANNESBURG – The CEO of the construction company that was handling the R3 billion Giyani Bulk Water Project says that government is entirely to blame for the project not being completed four years later.

Eyewitness News reported on Thursday that the multi-billion project, which was meant to supply water to 55 villages in the Giyani area, is now in limbo.

The cash-strapped Department of Water and Sanitation has held back the completion of the project, with construction company, Khato Civils, abandoning the site and retrenching nearly 1,000 workers earlier this month due to the department’s failure to pay up.

The project was launched by former President Jacob Zuma in 2014 with the aim of addressing water shortages in Giyani.

Khato Civils CEO Mongezi Mnyani says it was never the company’s intention to leave Giyani without completing the water project, but the Water Department left it with no choice.

“We’ve been working since January, February, March, April, May, June, July... Can you imagine until the end of September... but the payment is not measuring. That’s not on.”

He says government has spent too much money on the project for it to be abandoned.

“So far they’ve spent over R2.2 billion. Already the AG has classified it as irregular spending. Now, if we don’t finish it, it’s going to be regarded as wasteful and fruitless expenditure.”

The department told Eyewitness News it’s now paid the company R64 million but Khato Civils says that’s still short of over R40 million.

In the meantime, the project is halted.

Villages still don’t have access to water yet R3 billion has been spent in four years.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)