Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has instructed his department to work with the Department of Water and Sanitation to take action against officials fingered for corruption in the Giyani water crisis.
The Minister made the announcement when he tabled his maiden Medium Term Budget Policy Statement in the National Assembly on Tuesday.
The Giyani Water Project, which has returned to the spotlight due to media reports, has been plagued with malfeasance.
“It is a cesspool of corruption. The challenges range from a complete disregard for supply chain rules to poor contract management, resulting in irregular expenditure.
“It is clear that a new delivery and financing model is required to provide water services to communities,” he said.
Mboweni said a key element of the new approach will be a stronger focus on project management and contract governance to ensure that projects, such as the Giyani Water Project, are fit for purpose and maximise value for money in the water sector.
“I have asked the Director General of the National Treasury to work with the Department of Water and Sanitation to ensure that appropriate action is taken against all guilty officials implicated in the Auditor General’s report.
“The President has informed me that he will go to Giyani to see exactly what has happened and what needs to be done,” he said.
Urgent intervention in the Vaal River crisis
The Minister said, meanwhile, government was dealing with the water crisis in the Vaal River System “decisively and urgently”.
“Our immediate focus is to mobilise short-term financing by reprioritising funds and increasing capacity.
“I have asked the President and the Minister of Defence for the military to assist with engineering and other expertise to resolve the crisis in the Vaal River System.
“I am happy to report that approval has been granted. The generals in charge have already started working on solutions,” he said.
At a media briefing earlier, Mboweni said intervening in the Vaal water crisis was imperative as it had emerged that drinking tap water in the area was no longer safe. – SAnews.gov.za