Thembi Nkadimeng, Polokwane Executive Mayor, embarked on a water projects inspection in the Moletji east area last Wednesday. The visit was focused on water projects that are not doing well in terms of meeting their targeted completion times.
According to Tidimalo Chuene, Communications and Marketing Manager of the municipality, projects at Makgodu, Ralema, Ramongoane, Semenya, Matamanyane and Makibelo were visited and project managers, consultants, contractors and project community liaison officers were expected to be on site in order to explain and provide feedback on progress and any challenges that are being experienced.
The visit also provided an opportunity for politicians to play their oversight role to ensure that government resources are spent maximally and for their intended purpose.
At the inspections, Nkadimeng said that it is important for project managers, contractors and consultants to be reminded that government takes the provision of water to the people seriously. “Contractors and consultants have an obligation to ensure that projects servicing our communities are delivered on time and are of high quality. This exercise is necessary because the municipality is experiencing challenges with some of the contractors who accepted to do work for the municipality knowing beforehand that they would fail,” she said.
At a project that is behind schedule at Makgodu, Nkadimeng did not mince her words to tell the contractor that if they do not comply with the timelines agreed on, the municipality will not think twice to terminate the contract. “Not completing projects on time is a disservice that denies communities essential services and we cannot allow this to happen under our watch when we know that water is life and the people we lead must drink water,” Nkadimeng told the contractors.
During the inspections it also emerged that theft of transformers is one of the major problems that requires an intensified security plan from all role players. Some of the problems that were identified at existing infrastructure include vandalism, theft of cables, pumps and illegal connections.
The municipality will engage role players like Eskom on how to safeguard the transformers. The municipality has an agreement with the communities that pump stations would be erected within the community’s area of residence so that they should secure them.
“Thieves and vandals come from our communities and this becomes a community problem. Therefore the community must also deal with this matter so that they can exercise their responsibility and take care of it,” Nkadimeng said.
Nkadimeng was accompanied by Caiphus Mathiba, Speaker of Council, Mamedupi Teffo, Chief Whip, Eddy Maleka, Chairperson of the Water and Sanitation Portfolio Committee, and Johanna Kaka, Chairperson of the Special Programmes Portfolio Committee.
The programme ended with the Executive Mayor meeting with the tribal authorities’ headmen to give feedback on the visited projects and the solutions to be implemented towards resolving challenges being experienced with the projects.