Limpopo’s Giyani bulk water project plagued by corruption allegations

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The multi-billion-rand Giyani Bulk Water project in Limpopo is being used by government officials to siphon money. This is according to Giyani community representatives who were reacting to the recent report by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU).

The SIU says it’s at an advanced stage of recovering over R4 billion allegedly stolen through the multi-billion-rand project. The SIU has found that government officials irregularly awarded tenders without due process.

Finally, the wheels of justice are beginning to turn in the alleged corruption against senior officials who stole money through the Giyani water project.

The investigations that started in 2014 were tabled before the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA).

The SIU revealed how the initial amount of R90 million for the project ballooned to R2.2 billion and then later to R4.4 billion. The investigations fingered officials from Lepelle Northern Water.

Giyani community representatives have welcomed the SIU steps to recover the money. They now want those implicated to be arrested.

Giyani Community Forum’s Percy Mthombeni says, “We will welcome the report by the SIU and SCOPA, and it is very important to the community of Giyani. At least something has been done to recover the money that was stolen. I remember Mahlatse the sad part to her or the most painful thing is that the people are still suffering, up until today, and the fact that R4.1 billion was stolen is very painful. But welcome the report and we hope that whoever was in charge be brought to book.”

Community leader Austin Mabasa says, “Since we were worried because of the time frame if the SIU report was going to be brought after the completion of the project, what was going to happen with the money of Giyani? If the report now says there is R2.2 billion that is being wasted. We want them to bring back the money.”

Furthermore, the Mopani District Municipality has instituted a legal action to recover R77 million. The money was allegedly stolen during the refurbishment of the Giyani Water Treatment plant.

“The investigators went on to do the investigations appointed in 2021, and he presented his report and the preliminary findings to the effect that the contractor and the engineer are both liable. Therefore we have a justifiable case to begin to recover and recoup the money,” says Pule Shayi, Mopani executive mayor.

The SIU has approached the High Court in Polokwane to set aside the wrongful awarding of the ballooned contract and recover the money.