Gauteng’s Department of Infrastructure Development in financial difficulty

by Alan Fuchs MPL – DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Infrastructure Development

The fourth quarterly report of Gauteng’s Department of Infrastructure Development (GDID), once again shows that the department is not able to meet its performance targets and is in serious financial difficulty.

This is despite efforts by MEC Jacob Mamabolo to introduce interventions such as attempting to increase payment to creditors within 30 days, to prevent poor planning from scuppering projects, to ensure that rampant corruption in the Extended Public Works Program (EPWP) is minimised and that systems are introduced to drive efficiency.

In almost all cases, the interventions have had a short term, temporary benefit, only for the performance to drop to the level prior to the intervention.

This points to poor management.

As a result, while the budget of the department was fully spent by the end of the financial year, only 61% of the targets had been met.

The budget for next financial year, 2018/19 is under financed to the extent that less than 20% of the budget is available for the core functions of the department, namely building infrastructure and maintaining it.

The rest of the budget will pay for employee’s salaries, payments to local government for rates on government-owned properties and payments to creditors for services provided in the previous financial year.

The fact that the department is now forced to outsource its property management function to the private sector because of insufficient skills and resources internally, is an indication of poor planning and management.

In an election year, it is likely that government will try and hide this poor performance and is unlikely to admit that an additional R 1 billion is required to ensure that the department can meet its mandate in terms of achieving the most basic levels of performance.

Targeted infrastructure investment is critical for basic economic growth in Gauteng that will create jobs and accelerate service delivery. We cannot allow the situation at GDID to continue while millions of the province’s residents struggle to stay above the poverty line and feed their families.

The DA will continue to be frank about the department’s dire position so that the people of Gauteng can elect a competent DA government that can bring about much needed Change to all residents of the province.