The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng strongly supports the call by the Portfolio Committee of Infrastructure and the Portfolio Committee of Education to have officials in the Infrastructure Department prosecuted by the criminal justice system.
This call was made after the committees met to evaluate the status and progress of the building of three schools by the Infrastructure Development Department on behalf of the Department of Education.
The fury of politicians was palpable to the extent that they suggested that officials be reported to and prosecuted by the criminal justice system. They even suggested that the former Head of the Infrastructure Department, who has left the service of the department and under whose watch the building process of the schools began, be called in to account.
The schools under discussion were Mayibuye Primary, Noordgesig Primary and Nokuthula School for Special Needs.
The Mayibuye Primary School was handed over to the contractor in 2015 and to date is not complete. There were problems with the ownership of the land, the building took place illegally in that plans had not been approved, the budget of the project has ballooned to over R100 million and the school is unused and deteriorating at a rapid pace.
The Nokuthula LSEN School still does not have a permanent occupancy certificate even though it is partially occupied.
In a previous meeting relating to Nokuthula, undertakings were made by officials of Infrastructure Development as well as by officials of Education that they would work closely together, and resolve all outstanding issues and get a permanent occupancy certificate from the City of Joburg by a certain date. They reneged on their undertakings.
For a long time now, the DA has been highlighting the poor of performance of the Department of Infrastructure Development. It is unacceptable that critical projects undertaken by the department are taking this long to be completed.
If this poor performance continues, it seems likely that the Education Department could seek permission to dump the Gauteng Infrastructure Department and manage their own projects.