Nxesi: Public works over-prices

2012-11-23 16:14
Thulas Nxesi. Picture: Sapa

Thulas Nxesi. Picture: Sapa

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Johannesburg - The public works department tends to over-price, Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi said on Friday.

"Everything in public works has been over-priced, everything," he said at a construction industry transformation summit in Kempton Park.

He was referring to various upgrades the department had done.

Nxesi said Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi needed renovations done and that public works quoted his department R28m.

"The technical people in Minister Motsoaledi's office, they said no, we are mad, and then it was done at R5m.

"So, everything in public works is over-priced. The reason is because you don't use the right professionals to check the work of others."

Ineffective procurement processes, over-pricing, fraud, and corruption needed to be addressed, Nxesi added.

"Every time I go to a [parliamentary] portfolio committee, I emerge there bruised by these members."

He said corruption affected not only government, but also the private sector, and that there were syndicates in some sectors.

South Africa needed to rebuild the technical capacity to build infrastructure and to manage relationships with contractors and service providers.

The public works department recently came under fire when details emerged of an upgrade to President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla home in KwaZulu-Natal, with various media reports suggesting a R250m price tag.

Opposition parties asked for explanations on these upgrades.

Zuma told Parliament last week the money government spent on his home was for security features, including fencing, bulletproof windows, and a bunker, necessary in terms of the National Key Points Act.

- SAPA

Read more on:    public works  |  thulas nxesi  |  service delivery
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