The Democratic Alliance (DA) demands that the Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development (GDID) take immediate action to complete the Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve waterline pipeline project.
This project will provide water to the Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve and surrounding communities and much-needed job opportunities. The nature reserve is a valuable asset to the region and must be properly protected and managed.
The water project has been delayed by over 10 years due to several failures by the GDID, including awarding the contract to an unqualified company, lack of monitoring, and failure to take corrective action when problems were identified.
During an oversight inspection of the nature reserve, it emerged that the contractor and subcontractors affected by the delays have not been paid, which is unacceptable. These contractors have been waiting for ten years to be paid, which has put a strain on their businesses, making it difficult for them to continue operating.
A subcontractor is owed more than R61 million and GDID has only paid R9.6 million to the subcontractor. GDID is refusing any further engagement with the contractor, who has since gone out of business. The interest payable on the arrears over 10 years far exceeds the original amount. This constitutes gross mismanagement and fruitless and wasteful expenditure. The subcontractor upheld their end of the contract but GDID has failed and as a result the Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve, an asset worth over R2.1 billion, is a shadow of its former glory. Many much-needed jobs were lost because of its closure because there was no water available.
The DA will continue to pressure GDID to speed up the completion of the project and ensure that all contractors and subcontractors are paid the outstanding monies.