Address by MEC Mahlakeng Mahlakeng, during the official hand-over today (Mon, May 24), to Fifa Local Organising Committee (LOC), of the two completed road projects in Bojanala District, which are key to the successful hosting by the province, of the 2010 Fifa Soccer World Cup fixtures to be played at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace.
Date: Monday, May 24, 2010
• Honourable Premier, when we took office after the regime change, and began to settle in our respective offices at about the same time last year, the challenges to fulfil our mandates were enormous.
• For the reconfigured Department of Public Works, Roads and Transport, it was indeed an uphill battle.
• It was a battle that required courageous men and women, to lead from the frontline and marshal the foot-soldiers in the right direction.
• It has not been an easy 12-month cruise for the department, and like in any combat situation, where instant solutions are required to correct the wrongs of the past;
• We ended with a list of casualties along the way.
I can assure you, Honourable Premier, and all of you gathered
here today that, we are now in control of the situation
and have taken the bull by the horns.
• I am indeed humbled, that as government of the North West Province, we will not be singled out as a weak-link, in a chain that has to ensure that South Africa delivers to the world, a very successful 2010 Fifa World Cup.
of the two projects- the Sun-City to Phokeng Road- is, a Fifa
Protocol Route. It is therefore a road of international
• That also explains, the invaluable partnership we had, right from the beginning, with the Royal Bafokeng Nation who contributed immensely towards these two projects.
• This is one of the road construction companies, fingered by PriceWaterHouseCoopers, in a forensic report following an investigation, this particular reputable forensic auditing firm, conducted in our roads directorate from August last year.
• As a matter of fact, our suspended Chief Director for roads, Mr Eddie Thebe, has been found guilty on eight of the 10 charges of gross misconduct, including that, of the irregular awarding of road tenders to Moseme Construction and others.
• It is NOT!! Mahlakeng Mahlakeng, who made that finding.
• It was a finding by PriceWaterHouse Coopers, and that finding, was corroborated by the Chairperson of the Disciplinary Committee, after Mr Thebe was given an opportunity, to put his side of the story to a litany of serious charges of gross misconduct.
• I have welcomed and accepted the findings by PriceWaterHouseCoopers and the pronounced guilty verdict of Mr Eddie Thebe by the Chairperson of the Disciplinary Committee.
• In spite of developments around the matter involving Mr Thebe, and the pending disciplinary case against suspended former head of department, Nic van Staden and Chief Financial Officer, Kwekwu Odame-Takyi:
• The pressure to complete and hand-over to Fifa, their protocol route on time; necessitated bilateral talks between the department and Moseme Construction.
• We engaged Moseme Construction, and offered them an option to continue work and finish the road project on a without prejudice basis to any pending or possible future legal dispute on the contract.
• Put simply: Programme Director;
• Whatever investigation currently underway, and or arising also from the irregular awarding of road tenders by officials of the department, which may or may not implicate Moseme Construction, will continue unhindered. That was one of the conditions.
• I also want to thank Moseme Construction, for living up to their commitment to complete this particular project on time.
• Also, for cooperating fully with us, rather than declaring war against government, like others, who made everybody aware that they were taking us to court, only to come back silently and unnoticed, to talk to us very politely.
• A road infrastructure that will ensure a hassle-free Soccer World Cup spectacle for the visiting nations, their players, spectators and of course, residents of Bojanala who use these two road projects on a daily basis.
• I am also pleased to announce that, the 71km gravel road to and from Derdepoort towards Molatedi, is now suitable for traffic. My officials inspected that road three days ago.
• That so, because we too can feel it!!!
I thank you