DA: Where’s the ‘crack team’?

2011-07-21 00:00

THE Democratic Alliance in KwaZulu-Natal has called on Finance MEC Ina Cronje to explain the continued absence of a “crack team”, which is supposed to deal with the province’s massive infrastructure woes.

The team was accounted for in Cronje’s annual budget report.

The DA’s KZN finance spokesperson, Johann Krog, called for answers today following media reports that the province’s health department has to return millions to the national treasury after under-spending on its hospital revitalisation grant.

This is a grant that provides funds for the renovation and building of hospitals.

Krog said the DA remains concerned about the trend of under-spending on infrastructure year after year and across most of KZN’s government departments.

He said the much touted “crack team” is still nowhere to be found.

“Infrastructure development remains one of our province’s biggest challenges — the installation of this team needs to be a priority.”

Cronje’sspokesperson, Ntokozo Maphisa, said that processes have have to be followed since the KZN cabinet approved the creation of a provincial infrastructure delivery “crack team”.

This involved provincial treasury embarking on a competitive bidding process to source the necessary built environment expertise in the country.

The process is almost complete and the team is expected to start work in two weeks time.

Maphisa said the procurement process has just been completed.

The names of all successful bidders were advertised in the Government Gazette on July 15, 2011.

Unsuccessful bidders have been given five working days to lodge appeals. Five days — July 18 to 22 — have been set aside to hear appeals.

This is a long, but necessary process to ensure transparency, good governance, fairness, competitiveness and compliance with supply chain management prescripts, Maphisa added.

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