The Democratic Alliance (DA) is deeply concerned that the Gauteng Infrastructure Financing Agency (GIFA) is not capable of assisting municipalities in sourcing funding needed to complete important projects that will improve service delivery, such as water and electricity stability, and create job opportunities for the residents of Gauteng.
During a recent presentation to the Gauteng Finance Portfolio Committee, it was revealed that the affordability in municipalities where these projects are to be undertaken, where GIFA is only able to provide technical advice to municipalities and assist with feasibility studies, while funding such projects remains a very problematic issue.
According to the presentation, two projects that are supposed to be completed include the Tshwane Alternative Waste Treatment Technology project which was initiated in 2016, and the Sedibeng Government Accommodation, which was initiated in 2014. However, these municipalities have indicated that funding remains a challenge. It is clear that projects undertaken by GIFA take a long time to get off the ground and be completed.
A prime example of this is the Ekurhuleni Waste to Energy project. The project was initiated in 2015 when the Waste Management Department wrote a letter to GIFA, requesting financial assistance for a feasibility study into Alternative Waste Treatment Technologies. In 2018 it appears as if GIFA stopped communicating with the municipality on this and only picked up on it again in 2021.
It is clear that GIFA is just another entity created by the Gauteng Provincial Government to waste taxpayers’ money as it is unable to provide value for money and takes close to seven years before any project gets off the ground. These projects should be directly administered by the municipalities, and not through GIFA.
Furthermore, the DA believes that this entity should be integrated into the Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development and Property Management, as this department already provides the infrastructure needed to government departments. These are the same sentiments held by all the members of the Finance Portfolio Committee, yet the MEC for Finance, Nomantu-Nkomo-Ralehoko indicated that this will not happen.
A DA provincial government would ensure that municipalities across the province would be equipped to manage and complete these projects on their own, so that residents do not have to suffer, waiting on bureaucratic red tape to get the services they deserve.
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