A summary of this committee meeting is not yet available.
MPUMALANGA, NORTHERN PROVINCE, NORTH WEST STUDY TOURS
PUBLIC WORKS PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
24 May 2000
MPUMALANGA, NORTHERN PROVINCE, NORTH WEST STUDY TOURS
Documents handed out
Draft Committee report (Appendix 1)
Chief Hlengwa informed the committee that the three provincial reports have been consolidated into a single report. He requested the committee members who were part of the delegations, to verify the reports. Mr Radebe (ANC) verified the report on Mpumalanga, Mr Chikane verified the report on the Northern Province and Chief Hlengwa verified the report on the North West Province.
Ms Borman (DP) asked if the delegations were satisfied with the manner in which the money is being spent on these projects and what measuring stick was used to determine the progress of the projects. The Chairperson referred Ms Borman to different sections in the report.
The report was adopted by the committee. Ms Borman noted that she adopted the report with reservations as she had received the draft report at the last minute and had not had enough time to study it.
The meeting was adjourned.
1. Report of the Portfolio Committee on Public Works on the study tour to the North-West Province, Mpumalanga and Northern Province dated 24 May 2000, as follows:
The Portfolio Committee on Public Works, having undertaken a study tour to the above provinces on 17 to 19 March 2000, begs to report as follows:
The Committee embarked on a visit to the North-West Province's Community Based Public Works Programme with a view to assess, evaluate the progress made and problems experienced by the communities involved in Community Based Public Works Programme. During the visit the Committee was able to meet with the Deputy Chairperson of the Eastern District Council, Members of the District Council, Officials of the Provincial Public Works, Provincial Social Task Team, Members of the Steering Committee in One and Ten as well as Steering Committee in Kgabalatsane.
In Mpumalanga the committee was able to meet with the Chief Director: Community Based Public Works Programme, Director: Public Works, Officials from the LEDC and PMT.
B. Purpose of this report
The purpose of this report is to present the findings of the Committee on the progress made and problems that are being experienced by all interested parties in the Community Based Public Works Programme.
Eastern District Council
Overview of the Community Based Public Works Programme
The Community Based Public Works Programme (CBPWP) is a poverty alleviation programme targeted at the poor rural communities. The CBPWP was introduced in 1994. The CBPWP is a community managed programme, which is implemented by a CBPWP unity in each of the Provincial Department of Works (PDW). Funds are allocated to the PDWs who are responsible for identifying projects from applications received from communities.
Funds are transferred from the DPW into community bank accounts for the planning and implementation of the projects. Communities are in turn responsible for appointing designers and trainers in order for these projects to be design and then implemented by the community work force. One of the disadvantages of this approach is that communities who had little or no capacity were excluded from the process because they are not able to complete applications or are unable to manage the process.
Realignment of CBPWP
During 1997 on the basis of the experience gained in the programme and an evaluation report by the ILO/CASE the programme was realigned. The realignment included the emphasis be placed on projects that create productive assets, in order to create ongoing job opportunities. The results of an evaluation done on the programme indicated that there is inequitable geographic spread of projects as well as imbalance in project type.
Key aspects of the realignment of the CBPWP include:
i) The programme is now implemented by the Local Government.
ii) Clustering of projects
The identification of projects is no longer a reactive process of responding to applications but rather a pro-active process as follows:
-Integrated development planning results in the identification of targeted poverty pockets;
-Identification of projects in close proximity to one another to form a cluster of projects within the targeted poverty pocket.
iii) Appointment of support services
-Appointment of a cluster Project Manager by the council to prepare a project business plan for each project in the cluster and oversee planning and implementation;
-The appointment of a Social Facilitator and Technical Designer by the cluster manager;
-The appointment of a trainer to each project within a cluster by the council with the provision that the traineris accountable to the cluster manager.
iv) Contract award
-The awarding of the construction of the project to a contractor is based on a targeted procurement tender process.
v) Payment by council and not the community
1. Creation of short-term employment opportunities. This short-term employment is realised primarily during the construction of the assets in the communities.
2. Creation of useful public assets
3. Creation of sustainable employment opportunities. This is realised through the employment of operators of directly productive assets such as vegetable gardens.
Targets of the programme:
The programme requires that the facilities to be implemented should be designed for labour intensive methods of construction. This will help to ensure that human labour is used to achieve the short-term job creation objective. The following labour targets have been set by the Department of Public Works and must be met by the constructors in the construction of the projects.
1. At least 30% of the construction cost must comprise of labour
costs soured from the local community.
2. At least 50% of the labour cost should go to women.
3. At least 1.5% of labour cost should go to disabled persons.
4. At least 15% of the labour cost should go to youth.
5. Every project should meet the environmental targets of
planting at least 5 indigenous trees at appropriate location.
Past and future project:
The lists of past project, as well as projects to be implemented in the 1999/2000 funding are set below and in terms of their clusters:
CLUSTER ONE (DIPETLOANE)
Projects Project estimates
Bakery (ngobi **
Brick manufacturing (walman) **
Poultry farm (Voyentee) R200,000.00
Community Hall (Swaartboom) R500,000.00
Community garden & irrigation (DIPETLOANE) R460,000.00
Community garden & irrigation (Mmukubyane) R460,000.00
Rehabilitation of Community facilities(Swaartboom)R120,000.00
Market (Walman) R290,000.00
CLUSTER TWO (THULWE)
Projects Projects estimates
Multi-purpose centre (One and Ten) R550,000.00
Sport facility (One and Ten) R300,000.00
Market (One and Ten) R304,000.00
Community gardens (Potoane) R66,665.00
Community gardens (Pries) R66,665.00
Community gardens (THULWE) R66,665.00
Community gardens (Opperman) R66,665.00
Community gardens (One and Ten) R66,665.00
Community gardens (Dan House) R66,665.00
Fencing of proposed hall,market & sport facility R246,000.00
CLUSTER THREE (FAFUNG)
Projects Projects estimates
Multi-purpose centre (FAFUNG) R200.000.00
Multi-purpose centre (Sephai) R200.000.00
Multi-purpose centre (Ga-Rasia) R200.000.00
Multi-purpose centre (Klipvoorstad) R200.000.00
Community garden (Klipvoorstad) R183.000.00
Community garden (Ga-Rasai) R183.000.00
Community garden (Sephai) R183.000.00
Community garden (Ga-Rasia) R183.000.00
Bridge rehabilitation (Klipvoorstad ) R300.000.00
Bore Hole rehabilitation (Ga-Rasai) R150.000.00
CLUSTER FOUR (RABOKALA)
Projects Projects estimates
Access road (Oskraal) R750.000.00
Market (Rabokala) R400.000.00
Multi-purpose centre (Kgabalatsane) R550.000.00
Water supply (Rankotea) R600.000.00
The process that has to followed before the project could implemented are the following ten steps:
1.Agreement/contract between DEW and District Council
2.Council Business plan to Confirm capacity to manage projects
3.Development planning to identify clusters
4.Appointment of support services (CM and PSF)
5.Community facilitation to ensure identification of possible
6.Application for approval at provincial level (PP)
7.Project Business Plan to ensure project viability and
8.Project design stage
9.Tendering and contracts award
The Committee was able to visit the above clusters in order to assess the areas. All the above projects are still at the initiation stage. These projects are on the process of being approved. Tenders will be issued, construction will commence at the beginning of April 2000 and expectant completion of these projects is around June/July.
The Committee was able to meet with some members of the above Cluster Steering Committee. Through discussions, members of the steering committee indicated that there are no problems that they are experiencing since the projects are not yet implemented. They also indicated that they have good relationship with the Chief in their areas. In Maubane, for example the Chief has released land for the construction of Leisure resort, vegetable and irrigation projects. Other activities that will be rendered in this resort will be funded by the Carousel Entertainment Resort and some organisations. These told the Committee that they are happy for the progress up to date.
VISIT TO MPUMALANGA
The Director of Public Works, in Mpumalanga welcomed and introduced us to other officials. He indicated that the main idea of the visit was for the Portfolio Committee is to physically see the disaster areas due to recent rain and flooding.
On presentation by the Department of Public Works, Roads and Transport, the National Public Works Programmes were cited. These include Community-Based Programmes; NPWP - Mbuzini Access Road, Phase 1: Expenditure R15,2 m.
In both Phase 1 and 2, the delay seem to have been mainly caused by rains. Approximately 32 days, excluding weekends contributed to construction work not having been carried out. Markets and pre-schools are also under construction, and it is hoped that before end of April they would have been completed. The implementing agent: Community PSC - Bosele PM cc. and related constructors.
A question was raised regarding percentage of variation, and the response was that up to so far the project are being well managed, and there is no ceiling. The project status is said to be 75%, and 100% local labour force. Also, delays are due to heavy rainfall. There was a 20-day rainfall drawback. The project had to be extended, and additional costs would be carried for workers.
When asked if there are any problems regarding payment, the response was that workers had to report to work despite the rain, and could only be sent home after they had reported.
Regarding the Leandre Storm Water Drainage, it is understood to have started in September 1999, and would be completed end of the financial year. R2,5 million was funded, especially to Community-Based engineers, although there is no specific contractor. The project status is 68%. Indication was that on the following week, the subcontractor would be sent to the site to give instruction to the workers on site. The project experienced a 52-day heavy rainfall delay, and it is 100% community-based. This led to the digging of an extra trench to drain water for it to dry. A lot of extra cashed had to be used as well.
Moloto-Self Help Project deals with welding, arts and crafting and carpentry. This was started in November 1999 and is due to be completed in March 2000. It is also funded to the tune of R1 606 000. The implementing agent is Moloto PSC. The project manager is Bosele. Four subconstructors have been appointed, and they are from within the locality. The project status is 85% on progress, and it is 100% community-based labour. The PSC was elected for appointment. There was a 14-day delay because of the underground water table, which rose to high levels. As a result, there was a lot of plastering on the septic tank, and the initial target plan was not met.
Regarding project earmarked for 2000/2001, they were listed as follows: Southern Highveld Region; Perde pop community garden, MPC; Sport facility upgrading; Margenzon community hall. These projects followed many cluster programs. Mdutjane TLC and Mbimbanee TLC were also mentioned.
Because Phase 2 projects were heavily funded, despite the heavy rain, they are mostly still in good conditions; there are little potholes, side draining etc. A portion on Mbuzini's existing project had already been completed when the new projects were started. It was started on 11 January - and up to the day of the report much rain caused a 32-day delay, and not much work was done.
In response to a question on the status of who are the workers, the committee was informed that the policy of Public Works was that youth and women have to be employed, and that 30% of the funding goes to the local. Furthermore, Mbuzini road is a high quality road, and the Public Works is almost reaching the target project.
The Committee wanted to know what kind of help the Public Works department want from them, because they had not just visited the area, but they wanted to see service delivery as well. In the light of the Budget Vote for Public Works being on 10 May, a response had to be informed by that too.
The department indicated that R26m had already been spent on Samora Machel's Memorial, and the former President, Mr Mandela and the Ex-Public Works Minister played a major role in this regard. And in order not to compromise the quality to a greater extent, seeing that there are construction costs and other related fees on the project, at least R6 million extra could cover the project.
Furthermore, the Committee requested a report on the proposal to be sent to the Chairperson of the Committee. With regard to the delays on other projects, some more funding would be equally required.
The Committee learnt that 82 bridges were washed away; some villages do not have access; there were 42 temporary accesses as per the previous week. About R6 million was spent on the process of reconstruction because of the disaster. There are certain projects like schools, which are not community-based, and they were also affected.
Furthermore, the floods have also exposed a lack of incompetence in maintaining of roads, hospitals and other facilities that are in a state of disrepair.
On the question of how well is the department geared for the future, the committee learnt that since the province had not even recovered, it is even difficult to estimate the reconstruction costs. However, R28 million is required to maintain all the facilities in the whole Mpumalanga area. In terms of Phase 1, the aim is to put temporary structures before rebuilding.
When asked whether the department had an Asset Register, whose task it is to keep records on which building is to be maintained and how, the committee learnt that the department is still in the process of looking into that. For, example Shongweni Hospital, Barberton Hospital and Themba Hospital are in a state of disrepair, and therefore a process of management system is being considered.
It was further indicated that the R7 million that Minister Mufamadi gave to the province was meant for immediate assistance regarding roads. The PC indicated that as an oversight committee, it may not access the funds, but can assist the department on how to access funds, where necessary.
After the briefing the committee were led to the sites by the Chief Director: CBPWP. The Committee left for Mbuzini, where the constructors were already waiting.
The Committee learnt that construction of the road was already six weeks behind the time, and that extending time would cost another R3,4 M, and that subsurface drainage cost approximately R3 Million. Problems experienced include the setting up of temporary camp and the poor facilities used; the project itself is 12 km long. 1,5 km from the main road to the Samora Machel monument was dedicated to the emerging constructor, and subconstructors make up to 30%; it is labor-intensive, and 33% local and emerging constructors are envisaged. R5 million is spent on hand labor.
Asked whether the constructor would stay within the timeframes, the Committee learnt that it would be so if it does not continue to rain. Furthermore, R160 000 is spent for training managerial, site and other skills through others have had previous training and experience; they have to have their own grading machines and they do not have all the equipment.
On responding to why suppliers go for big tender; why there is replanning; whether there are low water bridges; which group is being employed; and what is the community's reaction, the main constructor said that depending on where he would be, he would assist them all the way; replanning is necessary because a number of things have changed and are new; women are mainly employed for bush clearing (a steering committee sees to that); the reaction was initially fine, but it has changed because of the tender system etc.
The Committee stressed that its job is to oversee the activities of Public Works; and finances are run by the Minister of Public Works.
The Committee learnt that this is a community-based project for various learning activities. There is proper supervision and the inspectors do visit the site while building on progress. The MEC of Public Works has already handed the project to the community.
DAY 2 - 18-3-2000
Visit to the Lowveld District Council.
The Committee wanted to know if the Lowveld District Council is a Rural District Council? In responding to that, the presenter said the demarcation board was responsible, and these two projects would be combined if the district council wanted it to be so.
Furthermore, the Committee wanted to know the level of education of people who were taken on board; how outsourcing and tendering were done; were women involved; and why BEDEC was replaced by IPC.
The PMT said that projects had not yet started; they were still at the tendering stage; community participation was done at district levels; tendering followed similar way, and the price for buying were high, and they had to be lowered. Some facilitators withdrew, and a steering committee identified people with skills and informed them about the tenders. BEDEC is an NGO, which has its internal problems.
Private companies follow the same procedure, and Mpumalanga is not rich with human resource capacity. There were several other problems related to the RDC. With regard to what was done to ensure that insiders are preferred for skills development, PMT said training is due to the funds available, and it is difficult to know who is going to run that when the project is done, because training is very difficult. Graduates do not have work, but they cannot do the job, and there are no funds.
The Committee questioned the issue of local languages on community radios, and it was suggested that because the time frames were tight, people who are not trained are going to be used and translation was done when they were briefed, although radio awareness programmes were not conducted.
The department wanted to know from the PMT what measures they took to ensure that the issues which had been reported on local newspapers regarding the tenders are tackled.
PMT responded by saying that difficulties are still anticipated regarding the recommendations of the tender reports. Local and emerging contractors do not want to be exploited. Projects have to remain in poorest communities, and can be shifted to some communities when the poorest ones had been adequately covered. The Committee also learnt that the Lowveld is the poorest area.
The Committee visited some members of the district council on their way to some sites, where bridges had been swept away. There was a concern of lack of women participation on council matters. It was resolved that Ms Segobela, as a local MP, representing Mpumalanga in Parliament would deal with that.
The following were highlights we made:
- critical challenges
- allegations and commission
- allocations of funds
- delays in implementation
- council discussions
- effects of the flood and to report accordingly
1. VISIT TO NORTHERN PROVINCE
The heavy rains and floods which began in the first week of February 2000 have caused widespread damage to the roads and bridges in the Northern Province. There has also been extensive damage to local streets and local drainage system, which fall under the responsibility of the local government. Road infrastructure in all regions of the province has been affected by the floods.
The worst affected area is the northern region of the Province, where most of the bridges have either been washed away or badly damaged. The Lowveld and Bushbuckridge regions have also been badly affected. There was also severe damage to road infrastructure in the Western, Central and Bushveld regions,
although to a lesser extent than in the eastern regions. There is also some damage to roads and bridges in the Southern Region.
In summary, approximately 150 bridges and other types of drainage structures have either been washed away or severely damaged. Approximately 1000 kilometres of the Province's 6000 kilometres of tarred roads and approximately 4000 kilometers of the Province's 15 000 kilometres of gravel roads have been
damaged to the extent that they need to be rebuilt. There have also been mud slides onto roads in several areas of the Province.
2. TYPES OF DAMAGE
Lack of preventative maintenance, the road infrastructure was in a fair condition before the floods. The Provincial Government had been able to keep the roads and bridges in a fairly good condition. The floods greatly accelerated the deterioration of the roads, to the extent that it is no longer possible for the
Provincial Government to keep certain roads in good condition.
The floods damaged sections of the tarred roads through a combination of a high water table and ingress of water into the strength-bearing layers of the roads through cracks in the surface of the roads and through road shoulders. The strength-bearing layers became saturated and weakened under vehicle loading. In some places this resulted in the creation of potholes. Such damage to the tar roads cannot be repaired by filling and patching the potholes. They need to be dug up and rebuilt.
3. AREAS AFFECTED
3.1 Northern Region
In the northern region areas most affected are Thohoyandou, Slim, Louis Trichardt, Mutable, Nzhelele, with many bridges being washed away or severely damaged. There were massive mud slides onto the main road through the Tatevondo Pass in the mountains between Thohoyandou and Wyliespoort. The tar road between Louis Trichardt and Thohoyandou is badly damaged at two
points and is impassable at times.
3.2 Lowveld Region
There were heavy mud slides onto main roads in the Magoebaskloof, Soekmekaar, Tzaneen and Letsitele areas of the Lowveld Region. The Magoebaskloof Pass road was particularly badly affected by landslides, with portions of the road slipping down the mountain. The heavy trafficked roads between Duiwelskloof and Mooketsi and between Tzaneen and Nkowankowa are
both in a very bad condition. The Duiwelskloof-Mooketsi road carries a high number of heavy trucks and since the rains, it has become increasingly dangerous to use this road. Many bridges were also washed away or severely damaged along the Letaba and Selati Rivers in the Lowveld Region.
3.3 Bushbuckridge Region
In the Bushbuckridge region many bridges were washed away or severely damaged along the Sand and Sable Rivers. In addition there were landslides along the road between Acornhoek and Bushbuckridge.
3.4 Central Region
Bridges along the Brak, Dwars and Sand Rivers were damaged. The Pietersburg-Munnick-Mooketsi and Bietersburg-Boyne-Soekmekaar and Zoekmekaar roads all carry high volumes of heavy traffic. Large parts of these roads have been either washed away or collapsed. These routes are presently used as alternative routes between Louis Trichardt and Pietersburg because the N1 had to be closed when the bridge over Dwars River was severely damaged.
3.5 Bushveld Region
Mosts of the bridges along the Crocodile River were eroded and severely damaged. The main road between Nylstroom and Vaalwater is in a poor condition. Similarly, the road between Brits and Thabazimbi and between Settlers and Marble Hall are also in bad condition due to recent heavy rains and floods.
3.6 Western Region
In the Western Region many bridges were washed away along the Mogalakwena Phalala Rivers. The tar road between Roedtan-Naboomspruit needs to be rebuilt. There were rockslides onto the road at Kloof Pass on the Potgietersrus-Marken Road and this road also needs to be rebuilt.
3.7 Southern Region
The Mofefe area in the Southern Region of Northern Province has been cut off due to bridges along the Mohapitsi River being washed away or extensively damaged. The road between Lebowakgomo and Groothoek needs to be rebuilt.
4. ACTIONS TAKEN BY THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS
The department has been working tirelessly to open routes which have been cut off. Teams have been working until the early hours of the morning to clear mud slides on the Tatevondo Pass and the Magoebaskloof Pass and George's Valley areas. Private contractors - particularly Ikageng Construction and Hillary
Construction - have been assisting in this work, without demanding payment.
The maintenance teams have been using their limited resources to fill potholes and dongas to facilitate basic accessibility. The department has managed to provide access to sixty communities that were cut off. Some road maintenance machinery has been moved from least affected to the more badly affected areas.
The department has also hired additional machinery to carry out repair work.
The department does not have either the financial resources nor the necessary skills and equipment to build new bridges. It also does not have resources to reconstruct failed and washed away infrastructure. This type of work has been outsourced by the department and must be carried out by private contractors.
The department's in-house maintenance teams are focusing on providing the very basic level of accessibility as an urgent temporary measure.
Some assistance has been provided by some private contractors. These include, inter alia Phalaborwa Mining Company, assisted with repairing the bridge on the road between Phalaborwa and Gravelotte. The SANDF assisted in repairing two bridges over the Sand River in the Northern Region, Pretoria Cement and ISCOR assisted in repairing a bridge over the Crocodile River near
Thabazimbi. The SANDF and the SAPS assisted in clearing rockslides at the Strijdom Tunnel on the Orighstad/Hoedspruit Road, ZZ2 assisted in the maintenance of roads in its area, farmers in the Tshipise and Levubu areas have also been assisting with building bridges and repairing roads in their areas.
Construction of between 10 and 12 temporary pedestrian bridges over rivers is under way, in order to enable accessibility on foot on a temporary basis. The SANDF in particular is supplying soldiers from the Engineering Cops to assistwith erection of the pedestrian bridges.
The SANDF are erecting a temporary light vehicle bridge over the Nzhelele River in order to provide accessibility to cut-off communities in some areas. In addition the SANDF has provided assistance to the Department of Public Works with regard to the construction of ARMCO pipe culvert bridges in at least three
affected areas in order to provide accessibility to communities which are cut off.
5. COST ESTIMATE OF THE DAMAGE
The estimates below are based on preliminary visual inspections of the damage. The figures may change after detailed investigations and after contractors submit tenders for repair work.
Tar road rehabilitation R696 000 000
Bridges and culverts R129 000 000
Repair of gravel roads R400 000 000
Repair of landslides R51 000 000
Total R1 269 000 000
The Northern Province has experienced its worst floods in living memory. These floods have had a devastating effect on the province's road infrastructure. This damage has negative social and economic implications. In many rural areas,
particularly in the Northern region, school children cannot get to school, communities do not have access to health and emergency services and to shops. Many workers cannot go to work and often have to travel long distances than usual (in some instances twelve kilometres instead of two). Agriculture,
mining and tourism have all been disrupted by inaccessibility of many roads.
The Provincial Government is working hard to alleviate the situation within the constraints of its limited resources. The Province has requested financial assistance from National Government in order to carry out the required repairs. Reports on the damage to the road infrastructure have been submitted to
the National Government.
The Committee recommends that:
1. A follow-up visit is needed assess completed projects in North-West,
2. A follow-up visit could be necessary to address major concerns in Mpumalanga,
3. During a follow up visit a video tape be used to give a clear picture to those who have to further monitor the extent of the damage.
4.The Department of Public Works should access the reports that were compiled by its counterpart in the Northern Province as a matter of urgency so that steps would be taken to alleviate the situation in the province.
5.Members of the Committee should raise these issues during the budget review process so that severely affected provinces such as the Northern Province should be given due priority.
24 May 2000
MPUMALANGA, NORTHERN PROVINCE, NORTH WEST STUDY TOURS