Minister Senzo Mchunu wants answers on collapse of R3bn Giyani water project
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Pretoria - Minister of Water and Sanitation Senzo Mchunu is looking for answers from Lepelle Northern Water regarding the collapse of the R3 billion Giyani bulk water project.
The project collapsed in 2018 after allegations of corruption.
It was meant to provide clean running water into the taps of 55 villages in Giyani in Mopani District of Limpopo.
This would have been done by building a 320km pipeline that would access water from the Nandoni Dam to connect with the villages.
But in 2018, following the corruption allegation, the then president Jacob Zuma commissioned the Special investigating Unit (SIU) to investigate the operations of the project since its launch in 2014.
Three Lepelle officials, including former chief executive Phineas Legodi, have since appeared in court following their arrests over a R45 million tender fraud case.
Speaking at a media briefing during a stakeholder engagement session with provincial Premier Stan Mathabatha in Polokwane yesterday, Mchunu said Lepelle had to have answers because they had been appointed to implement the project since 2014.
He said: “We are at the beginning of our engagement and during these engagements will be meeting the company where they will give us a breakdown as to what is the status of that project.
“We need to know what has been completed?
“What has been spent? How it was spent… and how much water is available.”
He added that accountability was key to implementing plans.
“The national government must be held accountable and the provincial government must be held accountable. For us to move on and get that project going we must start seeing from its history. “But in the end water must reach people who need water in Limpopo,” said Mchunu.
Mchunu assumed his new role from the Department of Public Service and Administration last month after President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Cabinet reshuffle.
Mchunu, with his deputies David Mahlobo and Dikeledi Magadzi, are on a three-day visit to assess the state of water and sanitation in the province.
The trio will be visiting the failed project today.
The visit is meant to discuss matters of governance, implementation, service delivery and finance towards the provision of water and sanitation in the province.
Limpopo is a water-scarce province and its water levels have been on a downward spiral decreasing to 82.2% from 82.5% in one week.
Water storage in the province has also declined, and stands at 1216.9 cubic metres of the full capacity of 1480.1 cubic metres.