Please find attached soundbite by Madeleine Hickin MP.
The DA will submit a Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) application to obtain the report of an investigation into serious allegations at the South African Council for the Architectural Profession (SACAP).
The DA requested an investigation after allegations of governance challenges, lack of leadership, bullying, sexual harassment, and maladministration came to light. The findings of this investigation have never been made public, nor has the report served before parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Public Works and Infrastructure. In fact, the answer as to who undertook the investigation has also never been answered – either by the Minister of Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure, Patricia de Lille, or her Deputy, Noxolo Kiviet.
The DA is in possession of correspondence the South African Union of Architects (SAUArch) sent to Minister de Lille in October 2021 asking for, among other things, ministerial intervention and a moratorium on the payment of SACAP’s Annual Registration Fees, while also expressing concerns that the current state of affairs dilute the quality of the architectural professions.
The email to Minister de Lille went unanswered. This forced SAUArch to send a further email to the Minister and the entire Portfolio Committee on 10 January 2022.
Board Members from SAUArch and the South African Institute of Architects have now threatened to make a clarion call to withhold paying over their professional fees to SACAP because of dire state of the body. Surely part of the blame rests on Minister de Lille’s shoulders. She has a haphazard attitude to leadership, and hides behind the ‘independence’ of various Councils as a means to escape leadership responsibility.
The Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) dictates that the Minister has the responsibility to provide leadership over how the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) and its infrastructure entities use their allocated budgets and human resources. The Minister is the policy leader and must guide the built environment professions. This is clearly not the case. And this, in spite of the oversight reports of the Portfolio Committee on the DPWI pointing out that inconsistent, unstable leadership of the Department and the entities is a serious problem.
In the face of these disasters, Minister de Lille keeps glossing over the cracks in the bow of her ship and all requests for clarity are either met with thundering silence or astounding acts of blame shifting.