Premier dismantles top management for ‘failing’ homeless

2012-11-15 12:57
Sizwe sama Yende
Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza has taken the most dramatic step of his administration so far – dismantling the top management structure of a failing department.

Mabuza told officials from the provincial human settlements department during a tense meeting yesterday that they should prepare to be transferred to other departments after they failed to meet their RDP house-building targets.

The department had only managed to build 3 900 low-cost government houses out of a target of 10 980 by the end of the 2011/12 financial year.

And some of the few houses were built in the 2010/11 financial year.

Human settlements department head David Dube was told right there that his five-year contract, which expires at the end of this month, would not be renewed.

Mabuza’s spokesperson Zibonele Mncwango said in a statement that the premier accused the department of being run by relatives and politicians who were failing him and the province’s homeless.

“The working environment has completely been compromised. People are redundant and there is no authority.

People cannot be politicians and at the same work for government. They are not pleasing us, instead they are creating more problems for government,” said Mabuza.

“We must agree that we have reached a dead-end. We can try to convince one another on paper [but] the reality is ... this train is not moving. Houses have not been built and the people look at me and say I have lied to them,” he added.

Mncwango said the human settlements department’s managers would be transferred to other departments in groups, while new faces would be simultaneously phased in.

A team comprising human settlements MEC Siphosezwe Masango, provincial director-general Dr Nonhlanhla Mkhize and Dube will facilitate the staff change.

Ironically, Dube is the deputy ANC provincial chairperson who worked closely with Mabuza, the provincial chairperson, to win the party’s provincial conference in April.

It’s an open secret that they fell out a few months ago.

Dube’s track record in the department has not been good.

A year ago he fired the department’s chief financial officer Cyril Dlamini and suspended supply chain management director Lucky Monareng after they raised concerns that tender rules were flouted when he awarded RDP tenders worth R331-million to 76 companies in 2010.

Some of the companies that benefited belonged to politicians and businesspeople close to Dube and Mabuza’s clique.

The tender was not advertised and the companies were picked from a database.

This was done against the Mpumalanga treasury department’s advice, contained in a four-page letter, which said tenders valued above R500 000 should be advertised for an open and competitive bidding process.

The Treasury warned that Dube might “set a wrong precedent for the province”.

Dube’s department also caused an outcry after buying land from a company called Bongiveli CC on behalf of municipalities at inflated prices.

Bongiveli CC bought 70 hectares of land outside Malelane for R41 million last year and sold it to the department for R50 million on August 18.

The company also bought 414 hectares of land outside Ermelo for R11.9 million and, within a month, sold it to the department for R36 million.

After City Press published these stories, he instructed officials during a meeting in November last year that they should not advertise in the paper.