Massive debt shows chaotic state of Gauteng department

Paul Willemburg MPL

Spokesperson on Infrastructure Development

Chaos continues to reign in the Gauteng Infrastructure Development Department (DID) almost a year into MEC Qedani Mahlangu’s tenure. The department is primarily responsible for managing the properties and construction on behalf of the Gauteng Provincial Government.

According to a reply to my question in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature it was revealed that DID owes the City of Johannesburg R25.6 million and a further R1.7 million is outstanding to the Ekurhuleni Metro.

Furthermore, the total Rand value of outstanding funds owed to the Department amounts to R90.5 million, with the Health Department alone having owed DID R87 million.

Earlier this year I revealed that the department failed to pay 1 013 suppliers on time in the two previous financial years, amounting to almost R78 million, leading to key social service projects being stalled, including the New Zola Hospital, the Katlehong Old Age Home and the Sikhulisile Primary School.

The department’s asset register is also incomplete and the property management strategy is not yet finalised.

The MEC is correct in indicating that significant challenges exist in her department, but the DA questions whether the political will or leadership exists to address the chaotic state of this department.

We welcome the R30 million allocation for ensuring that the management of the province’s property portfolio is improved, and will continue to monitor progress in the DID and demand that those responsible for the state of the department be held accountable.

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