Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille

Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille. Source: The Democratic Alliance, flickr, cc

Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille has heavily criticised government and its establishment of the Tirisano Trust which will not compensate municipalities for loss of funds.

The Tirisano Trust forms part of the recently signed Voluntary Rebuild Programme (VRP) Agreement between government and seven companies found guilty of collusion during the construction of stadiums for the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

The agreement will see Aveng, Raubex, Steffanutti Stocks, WBHO Construction, Basil Read, Group Five, and Murray & Roberts collectively make a contribution of R1.5 billion to the Tirisano Trust to be established for social and economic development with a direct bearing on the construction industry. The companies have also committed to undertake extensive transformation initiatives

De Lille has criticised the fact that municipalities, who reportedly incurred a total loss of approximately R112 billion with the building of the 2010 FIFA World Cup stadiums, will not get any compensation out of this settlement.

“This resolution taken by the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission has basically allowed construction companies to get away with serious corruption, scot-free,” the mayor said in a statement, accusing national government of accepting corruption as commonplace.

“This is not cooperation between government and the private sector. It is a complete lack of accountability which is being wholly endorsed by Minister Nkwinti as the chairperson of the Commission,” De Lille continued.

This is in stark contrast to several industry associations, such SAFCEC and the cidb, which have supported the agreement.

cidb Acting Chief Executive Officer Hlengiwe Khumalo commented that the agreement embodied the principles of development and growth of the emerging sector, which are in line with the cidb legislative mandate to advance national social and economic development objectives.

In her statement De Lille argues that the construction industry should be prioritising transformation regardless, and that “it is simply ridiculous that ratepayer’s money (which construction companies stole) is being used to help them diversify.”

She believes that the municipalities, who agreed to this arrangement, have failed themselves and their residents. According to De Lille, the City of Cape Town has refused to settle and will fight for the return of the R 429.4 million owed to its residents.