Public Works MEC happy with construction projects’ progress

Human Settlements and Public Works MEC Sipho Nkosi during a construction progress inspection of the JG Zuma Secondary School in KwaMashu. Picture: Bongani Mbatha African News Agency

Human Settlements and Public Works MEC Sipho Nkosi during a construction progress inspection of the JG Zuma Secondary School in KwaMashu. Picture: Bongani Mbatha African News Agency

Published Jul 11, 2023


Durban — The MEC of Public Works and Human Settlements Sipho ‘KK’ Nkosi has praised his department’s speedy intervention in the stalled and disrupted construction projects, attributing it to the resumption and successful commencement of those construction projects that had stalled or were disrupted.

Nkosi said that he was elated with the ongoing progress of major housing and infrastructure projects within the KZN province.

When Nkosi was appointed MEC for Human Settlements and Public Works, chief on his agenda was the immediate task to ensure that efforts of unblocking all stalled or disrupted projects are expedited for both the public works and human settlements departments.

To date, Nkosi has managed to unblock the infamously stalled Thubalethu Housing Project in Melmoth and the Mnyangweni Loskop Housing Project. Additionally, last week Nkosi officiated the launch of the much-stalled Jika Joe CRU project and witnessed the continuation of the Menzi High School Project which had been disrupted by the so-called ‘construction mafia’.

The effort to unclog more bottlenecked projects intensified when Nkosi officially resuscitated three more blocked projects in the KwaDukuza Municipality on Tuesday.

Human Settlements and Public Works spokesperson Mlungisi Khumalo said that considering these progressive developments, Nkosi’s approach and intervention had been widely welcomed, as the build environment, particularly housing and infrastructure remained the backbone for the economy.

“Contrary to recent speculation and misconceptions on the posture taken by the MEC on the issue of the construction cartels, Nkosi believes that the rule of law should reign supreme and prevail at all material times, and that law enforcement agencies should step up efforts to resolve the impasse surrounding the disruption of projects once all other efforts have been exhausted. In hindsight, the complexity of the issue surrounding the ‘construction mafia’ propelled and prompted the MEC to explore all avenues to address the stalemate”.

It therefore comes as no surprise, Khumalo went on, that the MEC for Human Settlements and Public Works has been attacked by what can be termed as a ‘malicious collaborative pact’ between the discredited DA and ActionSA, who have failed dismally to challenge the menace of the construction mafia since its inception.

Reacting to ActionSA’s provincial chairperson accusations, in which he condemned Nkosi’s willingness to “talk to construction mafia’, saying that it was cause for grave concern that, instead of cracking down on these criminals who not only halt construction, but also create fear and uncertainty among potential investors, the KZN government was beginning to recognise such groups as a structure in communities that needed to be negotiated with as a legitimate entity.

Nkosi said that Mncwango was a long-standing erstwhile member of the elitist DA.

“It is not coincidental that his remarks followed soon after discredited DA MP Sello Seitlholo penned a similar pseudo academically embarrassing statement.

“Mncwango is mimicking what his former handlers taught him. It is on the basis that I raise the question of willingness to engage and educate. Mncwango has excitedly and haphazardly uttered a misquotation,” remarked Nkosi.

“I have strongly condemned the outright act of extortion by individuals who demand a 30% profit share of construction projects without lifting a finger. I have also called for grave consequences to be faced by anyone who engages in such acts of deliberate economic sabotage which undermine the country’s economy.

“Furthermore, I welcome the arrest of all perpetrators by the police thus far,” Khumalo stated.

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