Democratic Alliance (DA) Gauteng Shadow MEC for Human Settlements and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, who is also a member of parliament (MPL) Kate Lorimer, along with the Tembisa South Constituency Head, MPL Refiloe Nt’sekhe, as well as the DA Ekurhuleni Shadow MMC for Human Settlements Councillor Philip Thamahane, conducted an oversight inspection at the R1,9 billion chemical ‘tender toilets’ in Tembisa on Thursday.
According to an AmaBhungane investigation, the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality has spent R1,9 billion on chemical toilets over three financial years, from 2017 to 2019.
Even though these chemical toilets were meant to replace the inhumane bucket system, it is alleged that this tender has been used as a looting system to siphon money from the municipality.
The DA assessed the state of these toilets to ascertain whether they were worth the tender price, as well as to assess whether they are regularly serviced and maintained.
Lorimer says they also engaged with the residents, who are the beneficiaries of the toilets, to ascertain the challenges they face when using them.
The DA found that the community say about 530 toilets have been delivered and yet they are owed over a thousand.
The DA also conducted an oversight inspection at the unfinished RDP houses in the Winnie Mandela informal settlement.
The houses were left without roofing, plastering or windows.
Following DA’s oversight visit, Ekurhuleni executive mayor Mzwandile Masina rubbished the corruption allegations.
Meanwhile, the African National Congress (ANC) Caucus in Ekurhuleni has welcomed the clarification provided by the mayor in respect of the issue of the toilets, as well as the matter relating to the suspension of the Chief Operations Officer (COO).
Prior to the press briefing, the ANC Caucus was taken into full confidence on what transpired with regards to the previous chemical toilets tender and its related services.
“We were satisfied that there were no procurement irregularities emanating from the Supply Chain Management processed. We were also assured that measures are being put in place, particularly with regards to the standardisation of rates as well as the system of monitoring the service,” said Masina.
Masina also says they are committed to installing permanent sanitation infrastructure in the informal settlements.
“As part of our ongoing and strong oversight, we direct all ANC councillors to conduct regular site inspections where chemical toilets are provided and accordingly report challenges,” says Masina.
On the suspension of the COO, the ANC Caucus expressed itself during the 21 February 2019 Council Meeting that they respect the work of the Special Investigation Unit (SIU) and that its effort of protecting democracy and fostering of good governance should be supported.