A SOMBRE mood prevailed in Limpopo yesterday during the state of the province address by Premier Cassel Mathale at the legislature in Lebowakgomo.
At issue was the cloud hanging over Mathale's government after reports that Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan had ordered an investigation into corruption in the province's tender and procurement processes.
This follows weekend reports quoting Gordhan as saying that powers to award tenders had been devolved to authorised stateofficials.
Mathale's leadership has come under heavy scrutiny to the extent that the government wants to centralise the management of tenders.
This follows claims that tenders involving huge amounts of money were being given to the same companies, allegedly owned by friends and close associates of the premier.
Mathale was at pains to explain the government's successes since he took over after last year's general elections.
He contradicted himself on a number of occasions about some of the government's plans.
Mathale said the rural development programme - identified by President Jacob Zuma as a pilot project- in Muyexe village outside Giyani had begun to take shape and that there were "significant" signs of improvement in the lives of the people there.
He also said 321 houses had been built in the village.
Mathale said his government had created 534 jobs in Muyexe, over and above the clinic that had been built.
But Sowetan can reveal that only 231 houses had been built, and that during the construction period 207 locals were employed. All are now jobless.
The clinic does not operate 24 hours a day and only has two nurses.