Speech by Mr Mhlati, leader of the UDM in the legislature

Honourable Speaker, Honourable Premier and the Executive, Honourable Members, government officials in supporting the budget allocation of the department, the UDM would like to place more emphasis on the acute shortage of skilled personnel within the department.

It is unthinkable that a government department can just literally depend on consultants for it to perform its functions. I plead with the Executive to give their full support in the recruitment drive to put the staffing of the department to the acceptable levels. As matters stand we are not sure whether the companies are forming cartels or not against this government as price escalations have become the order of the day.

Although the establishment of the yellow fleet within the department is appreciated the lack of quality supervision is of great concern. Some of these yellow fleet teams are selling the diesel earmarked for the machinery to people who have trucks and tractors and you always find the employees roaming about in the rural areas and when you ask them why the machinery is standing idle, there is no diesel.

It is also important that the traditional leaders should be called upon to perform their function as eyes and ears of government and to report any fraudulent activities by the members of the yellow fleet.

The department should please ensure that companies awarded tenders in rural roads have the appropriate equipment for road -making not just a grader, we expect quality work for the quality money we pay out.

A clear line of demarcation of responsibilities between the department and other departments such as health and education of which this department has a part to play. Clear memorandums of understanding among the parties should be drawn putting the areas of responsibility of each player up until the final product is completed and quality assured.

The Government should come out in the open as to whether we want quality roads and buildings or we want to promote emerging contractors at the expense of quality work. This issue comes out of the N2 road through Mthatha to Viedgesville which has not yet finished two years but is being done patch work on a daily basis. I faced some managers for the shoddy work which they do for the Government and they put the blame on the emerging contractors they are forced to take.

Stringent steps should be taken by the Department to complete the development of the asset Register of Government properties in the Province and must make use of the Surveyors to search and identify the properties. Furthermore, illegal occupants of Government properties should be prosecuted and caused to pay rental.

The total budget of R4,025 444 billion for the Department is fully supported.


I thank you