DA requests Auditor-General to investigate open toilet irregularities
Mmusi Maimane, DA National Spokesperson
12 March 2012
A Democratic Alliance (DA) site visit to Rammulotsi (Viljoenskroon) in the Free State has revealed that the toilets remain unenclosed ten months after the Human Rights Commission (HRC) ordered the Moqhaka municipality to urgently enclose them.
I will today be requesting the Auditor-General to investigate several irregularities that we believe have contributed to the municipality’s failure to enclose the toilets nearly a year after it was ordered to do so.
I visited Rammolutsi today to inspect sanitation facilities and to canvass the views of residents on delivery in the area. I was joined by DA Free State spokesperson Patricia Kopane and DA Shadow Minister for Human Settlements, Stevens Mokgalapa.
Our inspections of sanitation sites have revealed that an estimated 500 toilets are still not enclosed.
Many of these toilets have been standing open from as early as 2005, when Danteb Building Construction CC was given the contract to build the toilets. Danteb is a family-owned business run by the Executive Mayor of Moqhaka at the time, Mantebu Mokgosi, and her husband.
It later became obvious that Danteb was appointed not because of its expertise to do the job, but because of its links to the Mayor. This was reported to the Public Protector by the DA immediately after it was exposed in May 2011.
On 16 May 2011, an HRC investigation concluded that the rights of residents to “human dignity, privacy, and a clean environment” were violated by the ANC-governed council and province’s failure to enclose almost 1 600 toilets. The HRC ordered the municipality to enclose the toilets “with urgency”.
The municipality then appointed Dilemopumo Construction and Trading to enclose the toilets. But, as we reveal today, many of the structures built by Dilemopumo to enclose the toilets are of such poor quality that they have had to be taken down and rebuilt. At least 150 of these structures were dismantled by the municipality in August last year.
The Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA), which was to assist the municipality in paying for the toilets to be enclosed, is now withholding the funding. This comes after the DBSA visited the area at least four times without being able to pay the money over in good conscience owing to the unacceptable quality of the enclosures.
To add insult to injury, Dilemopumo Construction and Trading appears to have inflated the prices of structures to enclose toilets by at least R1 300 each, according to our calculations. What is more, supply chain documents in our possession show that the company contracted to build top structures appears to have been paid a fee of R2.559 million twice for one job despite poor workmanship.
Tender records listed on Dilemopumo’s website show that the same company has also benefitted from additional contracts with Moqhaka municipality to the value of more than R61 million. The DA will today request the Auditor General’s office in the Free State to conduct a full investigation into this.
We want to know:
• Why Dilemopumo was awarded the contact when it clearly did not have the capacity to do the work;
• whether or not any individuals linked to the municipality have interests in Dilemopumo;
• why Dilemopumo was paid twice to do the same job; and
• why Dilemopumo was allowed to charge a price that exceeded market value.
It is clear from our site visit today that people in Rammulotsi are living under very difficult conditions. The great tragedy is that this state of affairs could have been prevented. The shocking conditions are a direct consequence of cronyism and corruption in the municipality.
No government is perfect. But good governments are responsive, take the needs of the people seriously and rectify mistakes when they are made. That is what the DA aspires to do where it governs.
Other parties do not even pretend to care about the citizens where they govern. As Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe once said:
“The rot is across the board. It’s not confined to any level or any area of the country. Almost every project is conceived because it offers opportunities for certain people to make money. A great deal of the ANC’s problems is occasioned by this.”
The DA will continue to fight for a better life for the residents of Rammulotsi and every other place where governments fail to deliver opportunities for all citizens. If we deliver where we govern and hold the government to account where we are in opposition, we will reverse the legacy of apartheid that reserved opportunities for the privileged few.