R10 million school project delayed for three years: no actions taken

Jacques Smalle MPL

DA Limpopo Provincial Leader

Today, the DA will be submitting written questions to the MEC for Education, Ms Thembisile Nwedamutswu, to explain the reasons why her department has failed to meet the deadline to complete Funami High School at Altein village in Thulamela. The project has been delayed for three years.

The construction of the school commenced in 2010 and it was supposed to be finished in 2011, but it is still incomplete. The department has allocated an estimated R10.1 million and paid it to a contractor, but this contractor has now vanished without trace.

The school was intended to accommodate learners from Altein, New Orleans, Platjie and Lonbard who travel for more than six kilometres in the bushes going to Mitititi High School.

Learners from grade 7 to 10 could have benefitted and avoided walking long distances to get to proper education.

MEC Nwedamutswu must give us a full explanation and launch a forensic investigation to determine where the money went and how the contract was awarded to this contractor.

The school is still without administrative furniture, paving, windows, toilets, ceilings, water and sanitation.

It is unacceptable that our children are forced to use the bushes to relieve themselves because of one individual’s greed and corruption.

The DA will ask questions to determine:
– What happened with the money
– What steps are being taken against this contractor
– What is being done to recover the money
– How the contractor won the contract

The continuous failure of the contractors to finish schools is a clear indication that the Department is failing to do proper monitoring on projects such as this one. It is also clear that the accountability and management mechanisms needed to complete these kinds of projects are not in place.

The DA calls on the MEC Nwedamutswu to investigate the matter and recover the lost money.