Mabuza sets deadline for government-sponsored houses

2013-01-28 13:36

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Mpumalanga premier David Mabuza has given contractors a deadline to finish building all government-sponsored houses by March 25 this year.

Mabuza met the contractors over the weekend and also instructed his cabinet members to spend three days this week verifying information on housing and other infrastructure projects.

Mabuza and his cabinet set off to inspect different sites in the province this morning.

The premier’s spokesperson, Zibonele Mncwango, said Mabuza was not satisfied with the slow pace at which RDP houses were being built in the province.

Mncwango said Mabuza was surprised that most of the contractors indicated that they would struggle to honour the deadline. The contractors were forced to sign commitment forms.

He could not indicate how many houses the contractors were expected to complete.

However, Mabuza dismantled the top management of the human settlements department and decided not to renew the contract of its head, David Dube, last November when it emerged that only 3 900 houses out of a target of 10 980 were built by the end of the 2011/12 financial year.

The contractors told Mabuza that they received appointment letters very late and some had not yet been taken to sites and were given incomplete specifications of the jobs they were required to do, Mncwango said.

Mncwango said that others complained about delayed payments from human settlements, which affected their cash flow.

“Some contractors complained that they were not given the beneficiaries of the government houses as required, and were asked to find them themselves,” he said.

After dismantling the human settlements management, Mabuza transferred those managers to other departments. No disciplinary action was taken against them.

Dube, who is also the ANC provincial deputy chairperson, was sworn in as legislature member after his contract as head of department expired.

He is a deputy chairperson of portfolio committee chairpersons and his job is to oversee government departments’ performance and recommend disciplinary action against corrupt and underperforming civil servants.

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