Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Faith Muthambi, says delays in the installation of water tanks might have contributed to an escalation of people infected with coronavirus in the Polokwane Local Municipality.

Muthambi was briefed on the provision of water and incomplete projects during her COVID-19 oversight programme in the municipality.

She says government officials must respond urgently to the needs of the people to curb the spread of the virus.

“Disaster was declared on March 26, [and] you find a situation wherein water tankers are not yet installed. That definitely contribute[d] … we are dealing with the National State of Disaster. So, the way our officials respond to this pandemic should be in a different way and should be urgent. Because this is a state of disaster, so we will urge the municipality to make sure that they install all those water tankers,” explains Muthambi.

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Water tanker contract 

Muthambi, however, expressed concern that only one contractor, Batshuma, has been awarded every project in the Polokwane Local Municipality.

“I don’t want to get into these things of who does what, but I’m worried [as] Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee, why they gave one contractor to do the whole City of Polokwane.”

Incomplete projects

Meanwhile, the Executive Mayor of Polokwane Local Municipality says they need R300 million to complete road projects, which have been left incomplete by the provincial Department of Public Works, Roads and Infrastructure.

Nkadimeng says 16 road projects have been left incomplete in the municipality. “We have incomplete projects most of those projects are projects which are falling outside the municipal unbitten terms of D roads which are now the custodian of road agency Limpopo.”

“We have estimated that for us to be able to finish the 16 that we started the municipality needs around R300 million, hence, there is a request that was made by the council to the National Treasury for a concession of an amount of R300 million in total.”

Muthambi says the Portfolio Committee will prioritise the COVID-19 oversight to municipalities under Capricorn and Sekhukhune District municipalities.