Giyani bulk water project's slow progress raises ire of portfolio committee

2020-02-04 22:08
One of the pipes in the Giyani water project. (City Press, Supplied)

One of the pipes in the Giyani water project. (City Press, Supplied)

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Parliament's portfolio committee on human settlements, water and sanitation has voiced its disappointment over the slow progress of the Giyani bulk water project in Limpopo.

The committee visited the area as a follow-up, hoping the identified villages would be benefitting from the project by now, it said in a statement on Tuesday.

"We left Giyani dejected by the state of affairs, as villagers continue to suffer the hardship of lack of water despite the huge investment that has been made through the fiscus," committee chairperson Machwene Semenya said.

READ | Giyani water project scandal: Limpopo water parastatal heading for showdown with SIU

"It is unacceptable that the people of Giyani have not experienced a tangible impact proportional to the investment made."

The committee said it was concerned that a report stating 22 of the 55 villages were receiving water as provided by the implementing agent, Lepelle Northern Water, and Department of Water and Sanitation was incorrect.

"We intentionally requested to visit some of the 22 villages to see first-hand the provision of water. Unfortunately, we were met with dry taps. We have thus concluded that the report was inaccurate."

The committee noted work was continuing in the area, which was expected to be finished in September 2020.

According to the statement, concerns were also raised about the planning of the project, with information being received about there being little or no co-operation between the department, Lepelle Northern Water and Mopani District Municipality which created various inefficiencies.

"The committee found it unacceptable that while bulk infrastructure was being developed by Lepelle Northern Water, the Mopani District Municipality had not made provision to develop reticulation infrastructure to take the water from reservoirs to households. The committee has instructed all parties to heighten collaboration to eliminate any disjuncture."

READ MORE | SIU sues Giyani water contractors for R2.2bn

News24 previously reported the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) was investigating the Giyani Bulk Water Project following allegations of the irregular appointment of one of the contractors.

The SIU also moved to recover R2.2bn from the tender appointment of LTE Consulting Engineers by state-owned Lepelle Northern Water.

In December, it was reported that Lepelle Northern Water was shut down after the SIU raided its offices in Polokwane.

"It is unacceptable that, three years down the line, there is still no accountability for the delays in completing the project. The delay in disciplinary action is objectionable and must be speeded up urgently," Semenya.

The committee also acknowledged the matter was now under investigation by security structures but said this does not in any way impede the conclusion of internal processes.

"The committee's major preoccupation is ensuring that the people of Giyani receive water."

Read more on:    polokwane
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