IN QUOTES | Five revelations from Mmuso Tsoametsi on the Free State's R1.4bn housing project

29 September 2020 - 11:19
Deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo grilled Mmuso Tsoametsi, former deputy director-general and adviser to former Free State housing MEC Mosebenzi Zwane, about the province's housing project.
Deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo grilled Mmuso Tsoametsi, former deputy director-general and adviser to former Free State housing MEC Mosebenzi Zwane, about the province's housing project.
Image: Alon Skuy

The state capture inquiry on Monday heard testimony from Mmuso Tsoametsi, former deputy director-general and adviser to former Free State housing MEC Mosebenzi Zwane.

Tsoametsi responded to questions about the province's R1.4bn housing project which was dedicated to building thousands of low-cost houses in 2010.

The project has been under the spotlight at the inquiry with Zwane, and other officials, testifying about the illegal appointment of contractors and mismanagement of the project.

Tsoametsi told the inquiry about some of the causes of delays in the project and the prepayment of contractors.

Here are five revelations from his testimony:

Expenditure recovery plan meeting 

“In the meeting, the contractor raised three pertinent challenges they were facing. The first was that we were going towards the festive season and availability of materials might be a challenge. The second challenge was access to finance. The third was that, with the department saying they must intensify work during that period, it required them to employ more people, which meant spending a lot on labour.”

Neglecting process in appointment of contractors 

“My understanding is that the accounting officer would implement the supply chain management policy of the department, which requires advertisement. Through that process you are able to develop a contractors' database. If there has been a deviation from that process, it should be approved by the accounting officer.”

“I do not see the conflict of interest”

“This 500 houses project did not benefit in the scheme we are talking about. The material bought there was from resources we provided, not resources from the scheme. When I was asked, 'do you see a conflict of interest in subcontracting to a contractor who has received work from the state?', I said I do not see the conflict of interest.”

Delayed project 

“The department was in transition, which means there would be two heads of department. The people transferred to human settlements did not move to a well-capacitated department. Capacity was an issue and there was a court challenge by contractors who were allocated for the 2009/2010 project. The delays were internal and this delayed the project.”

Paying the wrong suppliers?

“The materials suppliers paid were not on the database. The suppliers had entered into an agreement with the suppliers we had legally appointed. We were assisting those people because we had a legal relationship with them, not suppliers we were sourcing through the supply chain and management process.” 

TimesLIVE


X