Ace Magashule passes the buck
Free State Premier Ace Magashule has put the blame for thousands of incomplete RDP houses in the province on his predecessors.
Magashule was speaking in an SABC interview in Bloemfontein yesterday.
He acknowledged that there were many incomplete houses in the province but claimed he had inherited the problem when he took office in 2009.
"I know people complain about incomplete house," Magashule said. "We are addressing this problem. Since 1994 people have been given 'happy letters' but they don't own those houses.
"Continue blaming us, we are addressing it (housing). This year we are not building any houses but are focusing on those incomplete houses."
Sowetan has already published a number of articles about incomplete houses across the province.
Almost every town in the province is affected. In some instances, construction companies were paid but failed to complete the houses. In others companies abandoned their work because they were not paid.
Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale earlier told Parliament more than R400million of the department's budget had been spent on rectifying the shoddily built houses.
"People say we are soft on corruption. If there were no corruption in the Free State, we would not have incomplete houses and companies would not have been paid for not delivering on their work," Sexwale said.
Magashule said since he took office in 2009 they had built bigger houses in rural towns because that is where their primary focus is.
He said he wanted to see every township in the province with tarred roads, like Soweto.
Magashule said R280-million had so far been used on road construction and R254million on bursaries for more than 3000 students at various universities.
He added that 54 students are studying medicine in Cuba and would soon be joined by another 150.
Magashule said many municipalities could not generate their own revenue and were therefore not viable.
Last week auditor-general, Terrence Nombembe, released his findings into the performance of municipalities for the 2010-11 financial year. None of the municipalities in the province received a clean audit.
Public Protector Thuli Madonsela is investigating Operation Hlasela - a company used by Magashule's government to deliver services. - email@example.com