Committee welcomes arrests in Talana Housing Project

Johannesburg – Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Machwene Semenya, has welcomed the arrests of suspects in connection with the Talana Temporary Housing units project in Limpopo.

The arrests follow the construction of 40 shacks at Talana in the Greater Tzaneen Local Municipality.

The construction of temporary housing units which is valued at R2.4 million is part of a long-standing Human Settlements programme of informal settlements upgrade, accelerated as part of efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19 by ensuring people do not live in overcrowded places.

“The arrests are testament to the intensification of the fight against malfeasance and corruption within the state. We applaud law enforcement agencies for their swift action that led to the arrest of the suspects, and we are hopeful that the arrest will lead to effective prosecution,” Semenya said.

Semenya emphasised that the R64 000 paid for each unit was unjustifiable and undermines the values of sensible use of tax-payers’ money.

She added that the quality and standard of the shacks was an affront and inconsistent to the principles of quality human settlements promised to the people of South Africa.

Four of seven suspects were arrested by the Hawks in different parts of Johannesburg on Friday. They are expected to appear in court on Monday.

Arrest of former Lepelle Water CEO welcomed

Also read: Former Lepelle water board CEO and others in court for R45m fraud

Meanwhile, Semenya welcomed the court appearance of the former Chief Executive of Lepelle Northern Water Board, Phineas Legodi, Chairperson of the bid evaluation committee, Gwako Moseamedi and businessman Matome Sefalafala in connection with a R45 million tender fraud.

It is alleged that in 2018, the Lepelle Northern Water Board advertised a tender in the Limpopo Province for the collection, removal and disposal of hazardous waste management in 2018.

Legodi was the CEO, an accounting officer of the Lepelle Northern Water Board, at the time.

Lepelle Northern Water is a water board and its primary activity is to provide water service to the other water services institutions within its service area in the Limpopo province.

Semenya emphasised that effective prosecution is the only tool that can be used to give impetus in the fight against corruption that diverts money that is earmarked for projects that are intended to improve the lives of the people.

“The committee has maintained its stance in the fight against fraud and corruption within the sector especially in the context of the amount of money invested in infrastructure development in the sector.

“Also the committee wants to ensure that the expected economic spin-offs from infrastructure development are not curtailed by corruption,” Semenya said.


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