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Parliamentary budget vote debate: Public Works – Maintain existing infrastructure before dreaming about mega developments

Fraud and corruption are so deeply rooted in South Africa’s government departments and the deterioration of infrastructure is so endemic that it makes any dreams about bigger developments and mega-cities seem impossible.

For example, the Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure, Patricia de Lille, admitted that there is allegedly extensive fraud and corruption in her Department due to supposed collusion between officials and service providers.

Thorough investigations into these matters must be conducted as soon as possible because it is unacceptable that taxpayers' hard-earned money is lost in a bottomless pit of dishonesty. It must be eradicated and corrupt officials must be penalised.

Additionally, the Department is unashamedly squandering tax money. It is estimated that during this financial year, approximately R193 million will be spent on renting buildings for ten different departments.

The FF Plus is of the opinion that it would be much wiser to buy property seeing as that would be an asset and an investment for the future. Such rent agreements only open the door for corrupt officials to abuse their positions.

The Minister's announcement that she wants to do a thorough inspection of the asset register of all government buildings is welcomed, but it is simultaneously disturbing seeing as such inspections were obviously not conducted regularly so the data is not complete nor up to date.

The upgrading of clinics, hospitals, police stations, schools and other state-owned buildings is of the utmost importance and must be done as soon as possible in order to prevent any more tragedies, like the one at Hoërskool Driehoek.

Dreams about mega-cities are unrealistic as our existing infrastructure is not even being maintained properly. The FF Plus cannot see how the problems currently experienced in Emfuleni, Mogale City and Bloemfontein can be solved by building even bigger cities. That is a recipe for disaster.

The developments at Brickvale on the West rand also raise more questions than answers. The Mogale City Municipality bought the land for an amount of R63 million, while it is valued at only R2,9 million. The mega-city development of Daggafontein on the East Rand is also characterised by problems and the public's complaints seem to fall on deaf ears.

It is good to make plans and dream big dreams, but as long as the ANC is in control, nothing will realise.

The existing infrastructure, especially the roads, must first be properly upgraded and managed before one can dream of mega-cities.

Contact number: 060 556 4347

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