UNITED DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT

MEDIA RELEASE

 

WHERE IS THE MONEY? WHERE ARE THE HOUSES?

MEDIA STATEMENT ISSUED BY MALIZOLE DIKO
UDM NATIONAL SECRETARY

The ANC government in the Northern Province has once again placed a question mark on its own ability to rule that province effectively and free of corruption. The United Democratic Movement (UDM) is appalled at reports that the department of housing in the Northern Province is engaged in a court battle to recover R4,1-million paid to a contractor who allegedly failed to build a single house.

This housing deal is specked and tainted with suspicious behaviour from department officials and lack of appropriate action to rectify the situation. Seemingly the two senior officials who played a role in paying the contractor despite no work having been done were suspended on full pay in 1999; but were only fired in May?

The UDM would like to know what monitoring mechanisms provincial government has in place to supervise such contracts? The UDM also requests the MEC for Local Government and Housing that his department clarify what the tendering procedures had been for this deal and if this indeed had been followed - should there be any proof of irregularities, he should resign.

It is enough that government officials may have been negligent or even corrupt, but the ANC government's lack of decisive action to investigate and resolve this matter is inexcusable. How many scenarios will have to play out before Mbeki's government will prove their so-called commitment to eradicate corruption within government?

Now government is involved in another court battle, paid for by taxpayers' money, trying to recover a substantial amount of money (taxpayers' money again) paid under suspicious circumstances to a contractor, and not one house was built! So who suffers in the end? the poor citizens of our country.

The UDM calls on the Northern Province provincial government to learn from this expensive experience to carefully appoint their officials in future, as well as not to plunge into contracts with dubious outcomes. The people of our country, especially those who are dependent on government to provide them with shelter and homes, should not become the victim of that same government's inability to make the right decisions.

Enquiries:
Mr Malizole Diko
UDM National Secretary
083-759-6637

Cape Town
20 September 2001