The DA has questioned the actual funds sourced from the Covid-19 pandemic fund that would be diverted towards the R500 million that was set aside to fix the city’s service delivery challenges.
THE DA has questioned the actual funds sourced from the Covid-19 pandemic fund that would be diverted towards the R500 million that was set aside to fix the city’s service delivery challenges.
DA constituency head at Sol Plaatje municipality Grantham Steenkamp said that according to the breakdown of where money was sourced for the project that was obtained through a Public Access to Information Act (Paia) application which said the R571 million allocated was made up from the Department of Roads and Public Works expanded public works (EPWP) programme and road infrastructure budget (R167 million), the Department of Co-operative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs (Coghsta’s) emergency housing grant (R71 million), its consolidated capital grant agreement (R144 million), its Human Settlements Development Grant – R106 million while R83 million would be contributed by Sol Plaatje municipality.
He questioned where the promised Covid-19 funding had been allocated as it was not reflected.
“There is a glaring omission regarding the touted Covid-19 funding that the premier, Dr Zamani Saul indicated during a press conference held on April 12, that a portion of the half a billion rand was in fact being taken from Covid-19 funds.
“He implied that the Province had a handle on the pandemic and that it was deemed justifiable to utilise these funds for the Sol Plaatje Municipality.”
Steenkamp suspected an attempt to “cover-up” the misuse of pandemic funds.
“Now it is being bandied about as a false rumour. We can only suspect that this is an attempted cover-up because of the grave misjudgement in even considering utilising pandemic funds to bail out a failed municipality. Sol Plaatje is a Municipality on the brink of collapse. R500 million is a lot of money. We cannot simply accept at face value that this money was properly budgeted for and that it will be properly directed to where it is intended to go.”
He added that this was while the Northern Cape was one of the first provinces to experience the third wave of the pandemic.
“The Province has also exhibited high excess deaths, high test positivity rates and low recovery rates. Transparency must start at the funding and filter through into procurement.”
The Premier’s Office did not respond to media enquiries.
Provincial government intervention in service delivery challenges of Sol Plaatje municipality R500 million project:
Road maintenance, resealing vegetation and bush control
Fixing of potholes in: Waterworks Street, St Augustine Road, George Street, Waterloo Street, Adamant Road, Trommel Street, Barkly Road, Pniel Road, Silson Way, Howie Road, Aristotle Avenue, Hercules Street, Egerton Road and Belgravia Road.
Funding source: Department of Roads and Public Works: R167 million from the expanded public works programme and road infrastructure budget
Construction of temporary communal rental units in the Sol Plaatje region: Lethabo Park Riemvasmaak golf course, Marikana, Waterloo and Lerato Park.
Funding source: Department of Co-operative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs: R71 million from the emergency housing grant, Coghsta and the national housing grant.
Construction of 372 social housing units for low to middle income earners at the Hull Street housing project:
Allocation of land to 2 933 beneficiaries to build their own houses in: Lerato Park, Ivory Park, Diamond Park, China Square, Barkly Road.
Installation of internal services and construction of houses
Purchase of land along the N12 to Johannesburg for housing purposes
Purchase and conversion of buildings into social housing units for student accommodation
Funding source: Department of Co-operative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs
R144 million from the consolidated capital grant agreement
R106 million from the human settlements development grant
Urgent maintenance work to fix potholes, sewer and water leakages, cleaning of the CBD
Funding source: Sol Plaatje municipality: R83 million