CLARITY NEEDED ON COEGA ROADS MAINTENANCE PROGRAMME

Clarity is needed about the agreement between the Department of Roads and Public Works and the Coega Development Corporation (CDC) for road-maintenance in the province following the launch of a R1,5 billion roads contractor development programme. This programme is run by the Coega Development Agency, a subsidiary of the CDC.

I have previously written in the media that up to 50% of the roads maintenance budget is being spent by the department and the CDC on administration of this programme because of the duplication of tasks. This information was based on a reply to a question for written reply to the MEC for Roads and Public Works, Thandiswa Marawu.

During a meeting this week with CDC CEO Pepi Selinga, the figure of 50% was disputed by him and set at a maximum of 20%. The department has been painting a misleading picture regarding its agreement with the CDC. Clearly the department has an agenda behind this misinformation campaign in a bid to take the contract away from CDC. The motivation for this cannot be left unquestioned.

I have written to the chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Roads and Public Works, Deborah Komose (MPL) requesting that a meeting be convened between the department and the CDC so the committee can get clarity on this matter.

The meagre funding that is available for road maintenance in the province cannot be wasted and spending cannot be allowed to be derailed.