One of the populated areas in Alexandra. Picture: Zintle Mahlati

Johannesburg - ANC treasurer-general Paul Mashatile has moved to reject allegations that politically exposed persons were allowed to loot around R1.3 billion through the controversial Alexandra Renewal Project under his tenure as human settlements MEC.

On Tuesday, Mashatile appeared before the SA Human Rights Commission’s Alex Inquiry to answer on his role on the ARP project which was started in 2001 as part of developing and decongesting Alexandra, which is one of the country’s poorest and most densely populated townships.

Those who worked on the ARP over the years have however been accused of squandering as much as R1.3bn of the money that had been pumped into the project.

Mashatile, who oversaw the project from its inception in 2001 until he was redeployed from the human settlements portfolio in 2004, rejected that money was ever stolen through corruption under his watch.

He also denied that there was ever a fixed budget allocated for the ARP as the project was budgeted for by different departments and different spheres of government.

“The department of health would look at heath facilities, the department of housing would houses that were required and so on, so over the period of seven years that is how the expenditure would then be incurred by the various departments. There was no R1.3bn,” Mashatile said.

He said there was no proof of any allegations that were made regarding corrupt activities in the ARP.

“There are people who have come up with a narrative that those who ran the Alex Renewal during my time were given R1.3bn which they did not use for what it was intended for and therefore it means there was corruption. There is nothing like that. I was the leader of this project,” he said.

Mashatile said the project had improved the living conditions of Alexandra residents, despite continued congestion in the township.

He said the provincial government had created new townships to which it moved people from Alexandra, including Diepsloot as part of ensuring that the township was not overpopulated.

Political Bureau