Gauteng Infrastructure MEC out of touch with department’s performance

Alan Fuchs MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Infrastructure Development

Gauteng Infrastructure development MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza’s foreword in the Department of Infrastructure Development (DID) 2013/14 annual report paints an eloquent picture of an organisation reborn, agile and reinvigorated.

The reality, unfortunately for the people of the province, is much different.

The department has a vacancy rate of 30% for professional staff such as project managers, engineers and quantity surveyors, which plays havoc with its ability to deliver.

During the 2013/14 financial year, 17 projects managed by the department were extended – some up to 12 months, and ran over budget by more than R100 million. This excludes the New Natalspruit Hospital which ended up costing R528 million more than what was budgeted.

Furthermore, an analysis of key performance indicators shows how only 64% were met in the first quarter, 65% in the second, 66% in the third, and 73% in the fourth. Coupled with this poor performance the department underspent on its annual budget by R557 million.

While the MEC attempts to whitewash the department’s inability to deliver, the majority of client departments for who DID manage infrastructure projects have indicated that its shortcomings impacted negatively on service delivery mandates.

This has led to numerous departments requesting for projects to be removed from DID, to have different implementing agents appointed, or to manage the projects themselves.

The DA will continue to highlight the department’s poor performance and hold the MEC to account, until such time that DID delivers on its mandate.