Gauteng Infrastructure MEC thwarts transparency

Alan Fuchs MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Infrastructure Development :

Gauteng Infrastructure Development Department (DID) MEC, Nandi Mayathula-Khoza, in an attempt to hide her department’s poor performance, has instructed officials not to interact directly with politicians.

The ANC recently took a decision to prevent client departments, on behalf of whom DID manages infrastructure projects, from interacting directly with the Infrastructure Portfolio Committee. Instead, these departments now have to take their issues to the MEC in the first instance, before coming to the committee. This is tantamount to asking the wolf to guard the sheep.

Whether this ruling of preventing officials from talking to politicians is equally applicable to public representatives of both the ruling party and opposition is not clear, but what is known is that opposition public representatives are being stone walled.

For a number of years, the Department of Infrastructure Development (DID) has been one of the worst performing departments in the Gauteng Provincial Government.

Last year, DID underspent its budget by R643 million and performed poorly in terms of completing projects on behalf of client departments.

Many projects undertaken by the department are not completed within time and budget.

Testament to the department’s inability to deliver were the overruns experienced in the construction of the new Natalspruit Hospital, as well as the Zola Jabulani Hospital in Soweto.

Mayathula-Khoza is known to hide poor performance for political reasons, but this latest move smacks of insecurity and a lack of transparency.

The DA will ensure that the department and the MEC will be held to account using the democratic mechanisms at our disposal.