Purchasing of certain material for the construction of infrastructure from outside South Africa is unacceptable especially when that material is available in South Africa, the Acting Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Appropriations Mr Ndaba Gcwabaza told the Deputy Mayor of Alfred Nzo District Municipality Mr Xolisile Mehlomakhulu and the officials of Mzimvubu Local Municipality at the Mt Ayliff Bulk Water Supply Scheme yesterday.
“Whether the material is expensive no one is allowed to cross the South African borders to get the material which is locally manufactured and available. That is an old gospel which is clearly spelt out in the National Development Plan and other very important South African policy documents,” said Mr Gcwabaza
He said this when the officials of Mzimvubu Local Municipality and the National Department of Water Affairs attributed the delay of the finishing of the Mt Ayliff Bulk Water Supply Scheme to the purchasing and transportation of certain infrastructure pipes from China. According to the officials, although these pipes were available in South Africa, they were expensive at the time of the launch of the Mt Ayliff Water Supply Scheme.
Mr Gcwabaza and other members of the Committee expressed their unhappiness to the Deputy Mayor and the officials of Mzimvubu Local Municipality and the Department of Water Affairs about the slow pace with which the Mt Ayliff Bulk Water Supply Scheme project is going, and told the Deputy Mayor and officials to accelerate the pace as the patience of the people for waiting for clean water is not elastic.
“The reasons for the delay you are putting before us are unacceptable and the conclusion we are jumping into is that you are covering up for other real reasons,” said Mr Gcwabaza. Asked about the completion of the project which started in 2012, the officials assured members of the Committee that it is going to be completed in April this year.
Mr Mehlomakhulu showed members of the Committee two of the four weirs which according to him and the officials, have been completed and that are feeding into the main pipe that supplies water to the communities. He said the weirs are a short-term water supply arrangement to Mzimvubu Local Municipality communities. The envisaged long-term water source is a dam which is still at a conceptual stage. Mr Mehlomakhulu assured members of the Committee that the weirs would never dry as the water flows from Ntsizwa Mountains. “These mountains are an eternal source of water to these communities and were there before people were created here,” stressed Mr Mehlomakhulu
The Committee is in the Eastern Cape Province to assess progress on the Municipal Water Grant Projects and Accelerated Schools Infrastructure Delivery Initiative in the OR Tambo and Alfred Nzo District Municipalities. According to Mr Gcwabaza, the Committee recommends to Parliament to adopt the budgets of the national departments and based on that, it must follow the “state money”. “We are here on this oversight to follow the state money,” said Mr Gcwabaza.
Source : Parliament of South Africa