Premier gets tough on water supply graft

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IOL jan 24 Thandi Modise INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS North West premier Thandi Modise File picture: Bongiwe Mchunu

North West - North West premier Thandi Modise has appointed three senior MPLs to help resolve the alleged multimillion-rand tender fraud impasse at Madibeng local municipality in Brits.

Modise said this after violent protests rocked the municipality, claiming four lives. Residents from townships adjacent to Brits were protesting against water shortages, accusing some of their councillors and municipal senior officials of having sabotaged the flow of water at the local municipal purification plant.

They then accused the same officials and councillors of having purchased water tanks and then awarding themselves tenders to deliver water to the various communities, at a huge cost to the municipality.

The latest casualty of the violent protests, Enoch Seimela, is due to be laid to rest this weekend.

Modise announced a task team comprising MEC for Finance Paul Sebegoe, MEC for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Manketsi Tlhape and Human Settlements MEC Nono Maloyi, to assist the police and the provincial director of public prosecutions.

She said the task team would oversee the implementation of recommendations of a ministerial task team report that had uncovered maladministration, fraud and corruption.

Former minister of co-operative governance and traditional affairs Richard Baloyi had commissioned the report.

It found that officials had helped themselves to millions of rand belonging to the municipality.

Modise said: “The team is expected to present a progress report in the next two weeks in time for a meeting with provincial police management and the director of public prosecutions to establish reasons for delays in finalising referred cases. The objective of the meeting will be to guarantee that new referrals are dealt with swiftly.”

She said the provincial government would not hesitate to dissolve municipalities in terms of section 139 (1) C of the constitution if there was obstruction or resistance.

“Where fraud and corruption are uncovered, properties will be attached and people sent to jail,” she said.

Modise also announced that her government had set aside R2 billion to deliver water in all affected communities across the province.

She said the task team she announced on Thursday was to deal with sanitation problems in Marikana, Khuma, Ditsobotla, Delareyville and other areas in the province.

She said members of her legislature would go on a province-wide roadshow to address stakeholders and community representatives about the targeted intervention.

The first of the series of meetings was to be held in Madibeng next week.

Meanwhile, EFF leader Julius Malema was expected to lead a march today to the Madibeng municipality to demand proper service delivery.

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The Star

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