The Special Investigating Unit has made damning findings against the Department of Human Settlements in Mpumalanga where a service provider installed water storage tanks costing R5 million each.
While the SIU found that the prices were grossly inflated, it also discovered that the water storage tanks in question don’t work.
Members of Parliament (MPs) said they have been left disturbed by this and called for action against those responsible.
According to the SIU, the Department of Human Settlements wanted to install boreholes and water storage tanks at 247 schools in Mpumalanga.
It also said there were further 127 communities identified for the project.
The overall value of the tender was R182.7 million.
But the findings were that none of the water storage tanks were operational.
In one school, the tank collapsed and killed a child.
SIU head of investigations Leonard Lekgetho on briefed the National Assembly’s portfolio committee on human settlements on a number of housing projects under investigation by the unit.
Lekgetho said the Mpumalanga water project was still under investigation, but they have made findings in some areas.
“The finding we have made today is that large steel tank, which came at a cost of R5m (each) had been installed by the service provider, but they are not operational. The amount paid for each tank was R5m and could also be grossly inflated. A tank collapsed and killed one learner in one of the schools and the contractor is under investigation by the SAPS and has been replaced by the department,” said Lekgetho.
He added the unit was also probing other projects in Gauteng, Eastern Cape, Free State and Limpopo.
ANC MP Chris Malematja said there needs to be serious action and prosecution of those responsible for what happened in Mpumalanga.
“There should be zero tolerance against corruption in South Africa,” said Malematja.
Another ANC MP Alfred Tseki agreed with Malematja.
He indicated that he was shocked by what he heard from the SIU.
“It’s very disturbing what we are hearing. Comrade Chris, I agree with you,” said Tseki.
He maintained there are no words to describe his anger, adding people who are put in power are supposed to protect the public purse.