On Saturday, 26 June 2021, the MEC for Human Settlements and Public Works Mr. Jomo Sibiya; Head of Department, Mr. Mdu Zungu, Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Thulani Bhengu and Acting Chief Director for Sustainable Human Settlements, Ms. Luyanda Kafile embarked on an inspection exercise to monitor the progress of projects in Edumbe Local Municipality., as part of Operation Siyahlola.
Operation Siyahlola seeks to assure that each act of government contributes to effective change in people's lives in the communities. It`s the Premier’s initiative aimed at delivering transparent and accountable services and redress in the KwaZulu – Natal. In his capacity as the Zululand District Champion, MEC Sibiya’s morning session began with an engagement with local leadership and the District Task Team to report on the functionality of the waroom, current and planned interventions on crime, COVID-19 and other pressing concerns in the District.
Responding to reports, the MEC highlighted that it is disturbing that contractors who are afforded the opportunity to participate of the construction sector are the ones hindering the progress to improve people’s lives. The visit to Edumbe Local Municipality, which falls within Zululand District Municipality, was to unravel issues linked to the Tholakele Rural Housing Project in Ward 05. In this project, the contractor failed to meet his contractual obligations in the delivery of the first phase of 300 out of 1000 units assigned to him from February 2019. Regrettably, up to this date, not a single completion has been achieved.
It was reported that even the milestones noted in the recovery plan submitted by the contractor was not met, resulting in a notice of breach of contract being served twice and finally termination was enforced after there was no improvement on site. Speaking at the community engagement in the Tholakele area, the MEC said: “as the Department, we are determined to bring a better life to the people and cannot promise that there will be no challenges towards this goal. I am here to tackle such, no matter how uncomfortable the circumstances are”.
“The aim is uncover unprofessional and poor workmanship, resolve conflicts at early stages in order to quicken the speed in service delivery,” added the MEC.