R3bn Giyani water project 'a cesspool of corruption’

Tito Mboweni says the project has been beset by a complete disregard for supply chain rules and poor contract management resulting in irregular expenditure.

Picture: Pixabay.com

JOHANNESBURG - Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has described the R3 billion Giyani Bulk water project as “a cesspool of corruption”.

Mboweni mentioned the project during his medium-term budget speech on Wednesday afternoon.

Eyewitness News recently revealed that the costly project, which was meant to supply 55 villages in the Limpopo community with water, is now in limbo after the cash-strapped Department of Water and Sanitation failed to pay the construction company contracted to do the job.

As a result, the firm Khato Civils had to resort to retrenching nearly 1,000 workers earlier in October.

The project, whose costs ballooned to over R3 billion from just over R500 million, was launched by former President Jacob Zuma in 2014 with the aim of addressing water shortages in Giyani.

Mboweni had choice words to describe the Giyani Bulk water project.

“The Giyani Water Project is plagued by malfeasance. It is a cesspool of corruption. The challenges range from a complete disregard for supply chain rules to poor contract management, resulting in irregular expenditure.

“It is clear that a new delivery and financing model is required to provide water services to communities. A key element of the new approach will be a stronger focus on project management and contract governance to ensure that projects, such as the Giyani Water Project, are fit for purpose and maximise value for money in the water sector.”

He says the project has been beset by a complete disregard for supply chain rules and poor contract management resulting in irregular expenditure.

“I have asked the director-general of the National Treasury to work with the Department of Water and Sanitation to ensure that appropriate action is taken against all guilty officials implicated in the Auditor-General’s report. The President has informed me that he will go to Giyani to see exactly what has happened and what needs to be done.”

Mboweni says a new delivery and financial model is required to provide water services to communities.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)