- National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise has lashed out at the Public Works and Infrastructure Department
- Modise insists that the Department is attempting to take Parliament 'for a ride' and has called for a separate maintenance budget in order to control its own projects
- This comes after the National Assembly Speaker voiced her displeasure over a R25 million project to refurbish Parliament's kitchens
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National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise is less than impressed with the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure, adamant that Parliament is getting taken for a ride by the sector.
The Joint Standing Committee on the Financial Management of Parliament was briefed by the Department on infrastructure projects in the precinct in addition to villages for MPs.
The department is charged with maintaining buildings in the area in addition to the villages which house politicians who do not reside in Cape Town.
Upon learning of a project to refurbish Parliament's kitchens, Modise ensured that her dim view on the expenditure was made transparent:
"Parliament is not going to spend R25 million on refurbishing the kitchens of Parliament in my name."
Modise is adamant that the job could be adequately done for a far cheaper rate, reiterating her objection by saying that the project cannot be approved "because it is not something we can explain to South Africans".
Lashing out at the Department, Modise accused the sector of wasting state funding on luxury items that are not wanted or needed by MPs:
"The houses must be clean, the houses must be serviceable. None of us wants luxury from the state."
News24 reports that Parliament had heard how the state was aiming to fund the following projects:
- Refurbishments of lifts on Plein Street (R9.2 million)
- Refurbishment of Plein Street ground floor to control access (R18.2 million)
- Refurbishment of the Cape Stores (R13.5 million)
- Structural repairs to the underground parking garage (R3.2 million)
- Security enhancements (R68.6 million)
- Renovations for MPs' houses (R88.9 million)
Earlier, Briefly.co.za reported that the Department had come under fire for a failed project to secure the nation's border amid the Covid-19 pandemic. A project to secure a border between South Africa and Zimbabwe saw the state forking over R37 million, essentially R1 million per kilometre.
The project was declared a failure after committees visited a flimsy wire fence in a worse condition than the original built a fair few decades ago.
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