How many times have we seen a big infrastructure project running into billions, experiencing delays and cost escalations that balloon to sometimes double or even triple the original price?
This is exactly what is happening in Limpopo. Khato Civil the main contractor of the Water and Sanitation Department has downed tools.
This has led to the withdrawal of an R3 billion bulk water infrastructure project, Giyani Bulk Water Project because the department has failed to pay the company for nine months.
Speaking to Bongani Bingwa, CEO of Khato Civils Mongezi Mnyani says the first phase of the project that launched by the then president Jacob Zuma was done successfully.
That first phase, the boreholes, the hospitals, the water that is contaminated and also the purification plant - that has been done and that phase is flowing.— Mongezi Mnyani, CEO of Khato Civils
But the second phase of the project is where we are now, in terms of making sure that the 56 villages have got access to potable and drinkable water of which our company is responsible for putting such an infrastructure. We have been working there for the past two weeks.— Mongezi Mnyani, CEO of Khato Civils
He adds that the project is almost 95% complete, but the department has not been paying for Khato Civils' services.
Limpopo regional head of the Department of Water and Sanitation, Lesiba Tlobatla says the department has appointed Northen Water as the implementing agent.
We as the department is only there to provide support and oversight and also to ensure that there is funding for the work to be done on the ground.— Lesiba Tlobatla, Limpopo regional head of the Department of Water and Sanitation
Tlobatla says there hasn't been payment because there are issues that need to be cleared up between the department and the vendor.
Listen below to the full interview: