George Mari, MPP
DA KZN Spokesperson on Human Settlements
The Democratic Alliance in KwaZulu-Natal has called on provincial Human Settlements MEC, Ravi Pillay to act swiftly to ensure that progress on the long-awaited Cornubia housing project is not stalled, as a protracted court battle over phase two of the development looms.
The DA has written to MEC Pillay, to request that he deal swiftly with any concerns over Gralio construction, owned by businessman, Jay Singh’s wife, Shireen Annamalay, in a bid to ensure that the contract is awarded and construction begun without further delay.
The move comes after eThekwini municipality refused to award the phase two of the development to Gralio, allegedly due to the fact that it is implicated within the controversial Manase Report. This, despite Gralio’s tender coming in at some R32million less than the other tenders.
The DA regards the municipality’s excuse as highly suspicious. Certainly, it cannot be taken seriously until such time as the full report is released and any findings against Gralio are made public.
The request by Gralio’s attorneys, to have the tender decision overturned and re-awarded to the company, along with the recommendation by the municipality’s own legal advisors, that the tender be awarded to Gralio, have fallen on deaf ears. This is indicative of victimization by the municipality and, more specifically, the municipal manager.
Ethekwini is sitting with a massive housing backlog. Informal settlements are mushrooming and conflict between residents and the municipality is at an all time high. Conditions are appalling and there is an urgent need for the Cornubia development.
It is imperative that the MEC acts to ensure that the housing project’s progress is not stalled in any way.