Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia De Lille. 24.05.21. Photographer: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)
Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia De Lille. 24.05.21. Photographer: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)

De Lille to institute action against officials for hiding damning report

By Tarryn-Leigh Solomons Time of article published Sep 23, 2021

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Cape Town – Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia de Lille is furious after learning that department officials hid a report from her for almost a year.

De Lille raised the alarm over the slow maintenance progress at the parliamentary precinct and requested an auditing firm to conduct an assessment.

The total costs for the parliamentary prestige projects amounts to R497 million.

The department is responsible for ensuring that government buildings can function properly for the benefit of the public, and to ensure that public funds are spent where they are meant to be spent.

In October 2019 De Lille said she commissioned an independent assessment after making an observation of the slow progress on prestige refurbishment projects such as refurbishment of the NCOP building, including electrical installations, work on the parliamentary precinct, upgrades of office buildings, and routine maintenance to parliamentary villages and structural repairs to the Old Assembly Building.

About 10 months later, in August last year, the department appointed the BDO auditing firm to conduct an assessment on the slow progress of the projects.

The firm submitted a draft report to the department in October last year and the final report was submitted in November 2020.

However, the report never landed in the hands of De Lille. “I will be writing to the acting Director General to institute consequence management against the senior officials who hid the report from me for almost a year. This is a gross violation of their duties to report to me as the Executive Authority who commissioned the independent audit in the first place.

“The acting DG confirmed to me in writing on September 17 that the relevant senior officials failed to submit the report to me after they had been sitting on it since receiving the final report in November 2020,” said De Lille.

She said the report found that half of the projects reviewed were over budget; all projects delivered were late; quality issues on projects and maintenance; irregular spending; and lost time and injury waiting to happen.

De Lille will write to President Cyril Ramaphosa to request a proclamation for the Special Investigating Unit to investigate these projects further.

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Political Bureau

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