Public Protector to investigate non-payment of Vuk’uphile Public Works contractors
4 July 2018
The Democratic Alliance in North West welcomes the decision by the Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane to investigate the Department of Public Works for the non-payment of emerging contractors in the Vuk-uphile programme.
Emerging construction contractors are claiming that the government training and mentorship programme has left many of them destitute due to non-payment.
The purpose of the Vuk’uphile programme was to encourage skills development and job creation through 65 contractors who were mandated to employ 5 people each.
However, the contractors are claiming that programme funds have disappeared and they were forced to inject their own funds into the project.
The Vuk’uphile training and mentorship programme has seen some success elsewhere in SA but seems to be a huge failure here due to service providers not receiving their money.
This is another way in which the ANC is robbing people of opportunities to get much-needed jobs and skills.
The PP has ordered that all parties must bring proof of payments and accounts so that the matter can be settled.
The collapse of the Vuk’uphile is not an isolated incident of government failure in the Department of Public Works. In 2017, the Department landed itself in hot water for illegally and fraudulently paying R114 million to a consulting engineers company in March 2017 without following due tender processes.
The money was meant for the refurbishment of 33 roads in the North West.
The Department appeared before Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) in Mahikeng but could not account for its spending.
In Tshwane where the DA governs this year we put R122 million towards creating the 23 000 Expanded Public Works Programme jobs that were promised to residents earlier this year. 16 000 People have already benefitted from the City’s EPWP jobs initiative.
Our people need skills and jobs. A DA-led government can bring the change and opportunities communities deserve.
Issued by SP Motswenyane, Democratic Alliance NW Spokesperson on Public Works, 4 July 2018