The Ad Hoc Committee on section 100 Intervention in the North West Province has requested the North West Department of Education to provide it with a comprehensive infrastructure plan for the 2021/22 financial year that will ensure spending of its budget.
The committee highlighted its concerns that the department continues to lose its infrastructure budget to other provinces due to underspending. “It is unacceptable for a rural province like the North West with high poverty levels and poor school infrastructure to return over R100 million of its budget to the National Treasury. A detailed plan will ensure that this is curtailed,” said Mr China Dodovu, the Chairperson of the committee.
Underperformance in infrastructure development is unacceptable in this province for a number of reasons. Those reasons include the fact that learners are subjected to substandard classrooms where there is no conducive environment for teaching and learning and small construction businesses in the province lose out on infrastructure projects that are key to economic development and creation of employment opportunities.
Also, the committee raised concerns regarding over-expenditure on some projects and the fact that the department spend almost double on payment for the construction of some schools. The committee has called for effective monitoring of projects and a perfect balance between expenditure and qualitative delivery of projects.
Meanwhile, the committee has instructed the Department of Community Safety and Transport Management to resolve all teething challenges in relation to scholar transport which becomes an impediment to effective teaching and learning. The committee has also called for the conclusion of investigation and prosecution of all officials and contractors involved in corrupt and fraudulent payments for scholar transport service.
Furthermore, the committee has called for a detailed report in relation to the Mahikeng Airport and expenditure on security at the airport. The committee has asked to be furnished with a report on the SA Express deal to utilise the airport.
Regarding the Department of Public Works and Transport, the committee welcomes the completion of phase 1 of the rehabilitation of sections of road P152/1, from the N18 (Setlagole-Delareyvile). Despite this, the committee remains concerned that the upgrading of road Z482 from Madibogo to Madibogopan has not commenced. “We recognise that the improvement of road infrastructure requires substantial investment, but the quality of some roads is horrendous and hinder economic development in those areas,” Mr Dodovu emphasised.
The committee has called for continuous community engagement to appraise communities of the plans of the department and budgets to deter service delivery protests. The committee has requested a detailed budget plan for roads that the department will develop in the 2021/22 financial year.
The committee will upon receipt of reports it has requested, be in a position to consider matters in their totality and will then update the National Council of Provinces of its views regarding the impact of the intervention.