Parliament to rebuild itself as DPWI fails

The DA welcomes the announcement by the Minister of Finance, Enoch Godongwana, of an allocation of R2 billion for the repair and refurbishment of Parliament over the next three years.

This follows the outcome of Phase 2 of the investigation into the fire by the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI). The report presented by the service provider Coega Development Corporation was presented to a meeting of the Joint Standing Committee on the Management of Parliamentary Finance on 9 September 2022.

In order to track the repair and refurbishment of Parliament and to ensure that the process is transparent, the DA will request strict timeframes and quarterly progress and expenditure reports.

According to Minister De Lille, a technical troika was to be established to ascertain a way forward which would be presented to Parliament for adoption. This was still her position Wednesday during a Portfolio Committee Meeting when asked why the media had already reported that the budget for the repairs would be given directly to Parliament and not to the DPWI.

In a statement released on Thursday, Parliament confirmed that the R2 billion will be paid to them by National Treasury and that Parliament itself will be responsible for the rebuilding of the structures. This follows Parliament requesting National Treasury directly to bypass the DPWI and provide Parliament with the funding.

It is evident and telling that Parliament does not have faith in the DPWI’s ability to deliver a refurbished Parliament on budget and on time. The controversial BDO Report that was kept hidden for over a year is a clear indication of the absolute failure of the DPWI to meet project deliverables on the Parliamentary precinct. This is despite the fact that the Prestige Programme within the Department is dedicated to the maintenance and management of Parliament, parliamentary villages and similar strategic properties.

Minister De Lille should worry less about being affronted and more about the very clear indications that her Department is no longer trusted by other government departments to deliver on its mandate. This is not a vote of confidence in her and the DPWI.