One official resigns, two others slapped with final warning over Limpopo temporary houses
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Cape Town - Human Settlements Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi revealed that two officials implicated in the controversial procurement of temporary houses in Talana, Tzaneen, in Limpopo had been slapped with a final warning after being hauled before a disciplinary hearing.
Kubayi revealed this when she was asked in the National Council of Provinces about action taken by the Housing Development Agency regarding allegations of fraud in the awarding of the contract for temporary residential units in Limpopo.
Independent Media reported recently that the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has recommended that the Aventino Group CC, which was meant to build the temporary houses, be blacklisted.
The report said the corruption-busting unit had found that the R15.3 million contract awarded to the company for the project was obtained illegally.
A total of 192 temporary houses were supposed to be built in Talana Hostel in Tzaneen and Extension 10 in Burgersfort, Sekhukhune, for hostel dwellers who were exposed to threats posed by the Covid-19 pandemic during lockdown level 5.
It was also found that the units built did not adhere to the original design specifications.
In her response, Kubayi said she had met with the SIU to receive the investigative report. She said she had met the then administrator of the Housing Development Agency, and also briefed the board.
“When the report was released there were three officials that the SIU referred for disciplinary action. Out of the three officials, one resigned and two were taken to disciplinary action, and they received a final warning,” she said.
Kubayi also said an additional three offices had been referred for disciplinary action by the SIU.
“The process is in place for them,” she said.
The minister also said the SIU had gone to court and opened a case against the service provider.
“The last hearing was on November 4 in Limpopo, but also what they are trying to do is to recoup the money that has been paid to the service provider,” she said.
“I must report, honourable members, that not all 100% of what was allocated was paid to the service provider.
“So almost 50%, I can say, was paid and the rest, which was not paid by the Housing Development Agency, remains with us. The SIU is trying to recover the other amount on behalf of the state,” she said.
Kubayi also said the Housing Development Agency had written to the National Treasury requesting that the service provider be blacklisted.
“They submitted fraudulent documents that misled the entity into making decisions that they should not have. In that context, the process is ongoing,” she said.