- The Water and Sanitation Department has backed its decision to bring 24 Cuban engineers to the country
- The spokesperson for the department stated that the engineers will be aiding on both local and provincial levels
- AfriForum has requested financial structures to be made public from the department as this was not done in 2017
The Department of Water and Sanitation has stated that the 24 Cuban engineers who have been hired in SA will improve the government's work in water delivery and other related services. Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has defended the decision once again.
According to Water and Sanitation spokesperson Sputnik Ratua, the 'highly qualified' Cuban engineers will help as advisers at both local and provincial levels across South Africa by sharing their skills.
Ratau stated that the area they will assist with are mechanical, civil and electrical engineering as well as project management.
IOL reported that AfriForum asked for a comprehensive financial structure for the Cuban engineers to made public so that taxpayers will know how much these appointments will cost them.
AfriForum stated that the department in 2017 spent around R12 million appointing Cuban engineers and did not publicly publish any reports on the work they did.
Sisulu explained that the engineers will be working in rural areas for a stipend over the next three years, according to a report by News24. Sisulu maintained that if there were any other engineers willing to assist in rural areas, they would have been hired.
Sisulu stated that the engineers are not being employed as they will be receiving a stipend. She added that once the 'skill transfer' was completed, the Cuban engineers will make their way back home.
Previously, Briefly News reported that Sisulu stood firmly by her decision to employ 24 Cuban engineers to assist in the repairing of leaks and other water problems.
This includes the Vaal River spillage after criticism was directed at her by ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba and AfriForum, which are against the appointment of the engineers.
Mashaba criticised the government by claiming that those responsible for the decision had overlooked locally-trained and unemployed engineers.
"I, Herman Mashaba, a citizen of the Republic of South Africa, nominate our very own South African frontline doctors, nurses and ancillary workers for the Nobel Peace Prize, instead of Cuban doctors as proposed by @PresidencyZA."
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