Parliament - The department of Human Settlements, Sanitation and Water affairs was ready to pay contractors outstanding fees to get the stalled Giyani bulk water infrastructure project completed within the next seven months, director-general of human settlements and water affairs Mbulelo Tshangana said on Tuesday.
"There is progress, the pipeline is sitting at 95 percent completion as we speak, the only problem is that, for me, progress will be if the water starts running. I think we should be done with everything by June but, again, the problem for every construction project it is labour issues," Tshangana said after a briefing by the department to Parliament's portfolio committee on human settlement, water and sanitation.
He said the department was obliged to find a way around the drawn-out dispute with Khato Civils, the sub-contractor that downed tools after claiming that it was not paid following the termination of the Lepelle Water Board in Limpopo's contract with LTE Engineering at the beginning of the year.
"If we have to pay people, we will pay them," Tshangana said.
"I think it would be wrong of us not to pay them, so we will pay them and once labour issues have been sorted out then construction will take place to complete the pipeline. We have already done reconciliation on what was paid, what was outstanding."