Former Johannesburg city manager Professor Trevor Fowler told the Alexandra inquiry that his project managers and councillors did not benefit from the Alexandra Renewal Project.
Fowler was responding to a question on allegations that some of his project managers and councillors benefited from contracts and that some possibly did “business with themselves under the project”.
“I can say that the project managers that were there from 2011 to 2016, first of all, when we handed it over to the JDA (Johannesburg Development Agency), I would say that they did not benefit,” Fowler said on Friday.
“I did not see any change in lifestyle. People did not change their lifestyle. When you see those changes, you do lifestyle audits to see whether people have benefited. I didn’t have any prima facie evidence that it had happened.”
Earlier this year, Alexandra residents shut down the suburb and demanded services, prompting the launch of the inquiry.
Held by the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) and Office of the Public Protector, the inquiry is probing what happened to the estimated R1.3bn allocated to improve the lives of Alexandra residents.
“As far as I know there was no manner in which managers had benefited. In the City, when projects don’t happen quickly, people generally will say it is because of corruption.
“The City of Johannesburg is a R50bn organisation. It is larger than most departments in the province… it is a large organisation.
“I could not tell you that somewhere in the organisation there was corruption but certainly not with the top leadership in that City,” he said.
However, Fowler admitted he could also not rule out that corruption did happen.
“I didn’t do any investigation because I did not have a prima facie case to do so,” he added.
The inquiry also heard from former mayors Parks Tau and Amos Masondo.