The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng has learnt that a number of departments in the Gauteng administration are unhappy about the fact that the services provided to them by the Department of Infrastructure Development and Property Management (DID&PM) are of poor quality and do not provide value for money.
Despite this, Premier David Makhura and his Executive Committee have insisted that internal departments such as Health and others be obligated to use the services of the Infrastructure Department for maintenance, refurbishment and the building of new infrastructure.
Senior officials have been intimidated into not speaking out about their concerns, but behind closed doors indicate that they would definitely consider utilising alternative service providers were they to be given that option.
The major complaints relating to the services of DID&PM is that they are not able to complete projects within time and cost budgets, that the work done comes at an inflated cost and that the management of maintenance is so poor that facilities continue to deteriorate at an increasing rate.
During the previous financial year only 56% of projects were completed within the original time estimates and only 60% of performance indicators were achieved against a target of 80%. New schools cost on average of R 100 million and new clinics cost between R50 million and R75 million, so one can understand why the departments are unhappy.
During the previous term, the DA brought a motion to the Legislature to allow user departments to utilise infrastructure service providers of their choice. Needless to say, the ANC did not support this motion.
The victims of this very short-sighted approach are the tax-payers of this province, because those are the people who pay the bills.
The DA will continue to apply pressure to set the user departments free.