R48m budgeted yet still no houses for military veterans – Patricia Kopane

DA FState says since 2017 only ten foundations laid in Riebeeckstaad, Welkom

R48 million budget and 10 years later still no houses for military veterans

7 August 2018

Today the Democratic Alliance conducted an oversight inspection at Riebeeckstaad in Welkom, where R48 million was budgeted for 62 military veterans that were identified. In 2008 each military veteran was promised a house costing R280 000. To date, those houses have never been built.

Since September 2017 only ten foundations were laid. The foundations are still there and there is no hope of these houses being built anytime soon. When the beneficiaries questioned the status of the project, they were informed by a government official under Premier Sisi Ntombela, who was then the CoGTA MEC, that there was no money to pursue the project.

Ithuteng Consultancy from Parys was awarded the contract, seemingly an ally of former Premier Ace Magashule. This is the same company that failed to pay the money for the hostels that they were renting from the Free State Development Corporation (FDC), and has also been accused of failing to complete a housing project in Bethlehem.

The DA will write to the Chairperson of Human Settlements, Nocawe Mafu, and request her to summon Matjhabeng’s Mayor, Nkosinathi Speelman and the Municipal Manager, Thabiso Tsoaeli to appear before the committee and account for the R48 million that was budgeted for the military veterans houses.

Mr. Samuel Bani, who is one of the beneficiaries, feels betrayed by the government that he fought and sacrificed for. He feels that their hard work has gone unnoticed.

The DA will continue monitoring the project to ensure the people responsible for the disappearance of the R48m will be held accountable, starting with the Accounting Officer, who is the Municipal Manager and the political leadership.

The DA is committed to bringing change that will ensure a corruption-free and caring government that will put the people’s needs first.

Issued by Patricia Kopane, DA Free State Provincial Leader, 7 August 2018