Water and Sanitation Minister Gugile Nkwinti on Tuesday announced a revamp of the procurement and project management processes for infrastructure projects within the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS), in an effort to tackle corruption within the department.
During a media briefing, in Pretoria, the Minister noted that an internal assessment of the DWS had determined that poor management of projects contributed to the corruption.
Nkwinti has issued a directive to the Trans–Caledon Tunnel Authority (TCTA) to provide programme management services to the DWS for the De Hoop, Mzimvubu, Loskop, Xhariep bulk water supply and Clanwilliam projects.
He indicated that the TCTA should use its capabilities and resources to increase support to the DWS in fulfilling its infrastructure mandate, which will enable the effective delivery of water and sanitation services to the public.
The directive is set to be implemented in line with all applicable laws and the new implementation model that promotes effective use of the department’s own construction unit in the implementation of the managed projects and socioeconomic transformation in the execution of projects.
Nkwinti instructed the TCTA to develop a business plan, with a service level agreement set to be concluded by the end of April.
Once concluded, a technical task team will be established, comprising officials from the DWS, the TCTA, the Water Service Authorities, relevant institutions impacted on by the projects and provincial Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs officials to analyse a suitable model for implementation funding for each project.
Moreover, Nkwinti signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to formalise a relationship with Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA).
The DBSA will be entrusted to perform programme management services for the Giyani project, the Nandoni–Nsami pipeline, the Nwamitwa dam, the Tzaneen dam, the Polokwane (Ebenezer and Olifants) water project and the Vaal Gamagara project.
The DWS is faced with considerable challenges of inadequate capacity for effective programme planning and coordination, which is necessary for ensuring effective project preparation, roll out and delivery to specifications, on time and within budget.