R57m toilet foul-up
"The service providers are not providing" - Parliamentarian
THE Human Settlement Department has revealed that the North West government has failed to spend R57-million earmarked for sanitation, despite a dire shortage of toilets in that province.
Addressing the portfolio committee on human settlements yesterday, acting chief director of sanitation for the national department, Phillip Chauke, said the reason why the R57-million had not been spent was as a result of having to open up the tender process for more service providers since the two that were appointed did not have the capacity to deliver.
In 2010 the Independent Development Trust (IDT) and the Mvula Trust were given three-year contracts to install 6,330 toilets - but according to the department's presentation zero units had been completed.
For this period, the IDT was awarded a R32-million contract and the Mvula Trust an R11-million contract.
DA MP Steven Mokgalapa said he could not fathom how money was being allocated but nothing was being spent.
"Sanitation is a big issue everywhere," Mokgalapa
"Why are we stuck? What is so special about IDT that year in and year out it shows it has not completed its target. Mvula at least are trying. We are not even making a dent in dealing with sanitation," Mokgalapa said.
ANC MP Gloria Borman was equally frustrated with the lack of progress.
"It's a health hazard that we have got out there, so we are not taking this thing lightly any more.
"The service providers are not providing."
All attempts to explain saw MPs leave the session still baffled.
But afterwards Chauke said about 42,000 toilets had been installed since 2010 and the target for 2012 was about 50,000 more.
Conceding that there were problems, Chauke said the department had been faced with a number of obstacles.
These included the process to appoint more contractors and the ageing infrastructure which needed to be upgraded.
"There is another set of problems where we did have a toilet in a rural area, but it was never emptied, the municipalities do not have the capacity to go and empty the pit. That's a major problem that we have," he said.