Water and Sanitation Deputy Minister David Mahlobo has urged politicians, and particularly local councillors, to stay away from procurement processes. Mahlobo said politicians are not responsible for procurement and the awarding of contracts.
His comments come as the ANC-led government scrambles to plug sewage spillage problems plaguing the Vaal.
During a meeting with stakeholders at Emerald Casino in Vanderbijlpark on Friday, government announced preliminary plans to deal with the scourge of raw sewage spillages effectively and efficiently.
Rand Water is the implementing agent on behalf of the department. The intervention work undertaken by Rand Water is set to create employment opportunities for local labourers and business opportunities for small businesses.
Now, Mahlobo is appealing to politicians to stay away from the procurement processes.
“As politicians, it is our task to play an oversight role and not involve ourselves in things that have got nothing to do with us.
“We need to allow Rand Water to work. Ours is to be vigilant, give leadership and give support to officials so that this project is implemented without any delays”, he said.
Mahlobo said government needed to be transparent in how it operates and take people into its confidence.
“If we are transparent, communities will begin to trust and have confidence in government again.
“People out there think there is so much corruption in government, even in cases where there is none.
“It is because we do things in the corners, and we do not consult properly and give feedback to our people. We need to decide if we want to please a few people at the expense of community members living here,” said Mahlobo.
Community leaders said they were not happy about being left out of the decision-making processes and criticised the government for not implementing projects in a consultative manner.
“Transparency in the implementation of government’s projects should be a norm, and community members should be consulted regularly to keep them in the loop on the progress and delays of projects in their localities,” said the department.
(Compiled by Narissa Subramoney)