By Jacques Smalle MPL, DA Provincial Spokesperson on Education:
The DA has written to the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Education, calling upon MEC Ishmael Kgetjepe to explain why his department failed to take action against the contractor who left the project incomplete at Luatame Secondary School in Makhado despite being paid in full.
The contractor was appointed in 2010 for upgrades at the school but the school is still incomplete. The school has an enrolment of 611 learners but they are currently trapped in dilapidated and overcrowded classrooms.
The contractor was paid more than R30 million and left without filling excavated holes making the renovated classrooms dangerous for learners.
Last year’s 2015 matric pass rate also dropped from 83.63% in 2014 to 57.57% due to lack of proper infrastructure.
It is clear that the department does not have a proper monitoring system in place to monitor the process made by the appointed contractors before paying them.
Improper planning, poor management , lack of accountability and maladministration in the department of education has led to this school being neglected and vandalised daily by community members
Abandoning such a multimillion project is a clear waste of state resources and the contractor must be hold accountable by either paying back the money or completing the renovations.
The DA urges MEC Kgetjepe to take action against contractors who abandon projects by blacklisting these companies to ensure that they don’t qualify for any future tenders from government.
The DA has submitted written questions in the Legislature seeking the number of incomplete and abandoned projects , budgets allocated to these projects , timeframes of completion and whether the incomplete / abandoned projects resulted in any legal action instituted by either the department or the contractors.