EC Toilet tender infringing on citizen’s dignity - Maimane

BY CHARL BOSCH - MARCH 31, 2015

Democratic Alliance (DA) Parliamentary leader, Mmusi Maimane, has accused the Amathole District Municipality in the Eastern Cape of undermining the dignity of its citizens following the awarding of a R631-million toilet tender to a contractor with links to senior ANC MP’s.

In statement following his visit to the Kwasaki and KwaTuba Villages, Maimane said that only 5 000 of the projected 66 000 toilets had so far been built, and that work carried out by the Siyenza Group is of such poor quality, that meeting the end of June deadline is impossible.

Last week, Maimane confirmed that Public Protector Thuli Madonsela would investigate the handing of the tender to Siyenza, which is reported to have ties with President Jacob Zuma, ANC Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe, and Small Business Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu.

“At a number of the sites I visited, the toilet structures were either incomplete or unsuitable for use due to poor construction quality,” said Maimane.

“In some instances, residents are using their own toilets – which they built years ago – as the Siyenza toilets are not considered safe. Residents, including an 80 year old woman, complained that in some cases contractors abandoned the sites after digging just a hole”.

He also added that Siyenza’s directors were reportedly splurging money on lavish parties as well as buying Porsches, Ferraris and Lamborghinis, while citizen are “being compromised by the lack of decent sanitation services”.

“The Public Protector has agreed to my request for an investigation into the scandal, and we are pursuing various documents relating to the tender via a PAIA submitted last week,” he said, adding that the party “will not allow citizens to suffer while those connected to the ANC get rich”.