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Tender irregularities, poor management in KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape after flood disaster – AG

The Auditor-General (AG) revealed shocking findings in its report on the ANC government's handling of aid to flood victims, and the utilisation of funds in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape.

The findings are detailed in a report tabled today in the parliamentary Ad Hoc Committee on Flood Disaster Relief and Recovery.

The AG found, among other things, that there were irregularities in the procurement processes and that the prescribed processes were not properly followed.

This first interim report also points out that government was not adequately prepared to handle such a disaster.

The poor maintenance of water tankers, for example, resulted in residents having no access to clean water for three or more days after the floods. It caused serious health risks.

The contractors appointed to assist with government's service delivery were also poorly supervised.

Only 254 temporary housing units were erected over the past three months, while nearly 5 000 such units are needed.

It is nowhere near the target, which was to erect 1 810 housing units by 31 July.

In addition, all of the thirty housing units inspected by the AG as a sample for the audit were defective due to poor workmanship. The wall panels were not properly installed and nearly half of the units do not have inner doors.

The AG also found that with the awarding of tenders, no provision was made for the management and performance evaluation of contractors.

The slow pace at which government is responding to the flood disaster is evident in the fact that up to date, only R125 million of the earmarked R2 billion has been spent on disaster relief.

The AG's finding that government's poor performance is attributable to, among other things, a lack of competence speaks volumes.

The report makes it abundantly clear that the people of South Africa will keep suffering at the hands of the ANC government – due to poor governance, corruption and cadre deployment – even in times of disaster when the needs of the people ought to be the highest priority.

South Africans deserve better than the ANC.

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