Limpopo shacks

Image supplied by Limpopo Gov.

Limpopo premier distances himself from R2.4 million shack scandal

It’s understood that the provincial government forked out an estimated R60,000 for each shack.

Limpopo shacks

Image supplied by Limpopo Gov.

Limpopo Premier Stan Mathabatha has denied having any prior knowledge of the embarrassing R2.4 million shack project which involves his office, reports say.

Mathabatha unveiled 40 shacks in the Greater Tzaneen Local Municipality on Friday, 31 July 2020, in a ribbon cutting ceremony.

Despite this, the premier has said he was not aware of the poor quality of the structures funded by his province.

Attempts by The South African, to get hold of the premier’s office were unsuccessful.

It’s understood that the provincial government forked out an estimated R60 000 for each shack.

The two-room structures are made up of corrugated iron and questions have been raised surrounding the project – particularly whether the costs were inflated to accommodate looting.

Hennie Botes, a businessman from the Eastern Cape, who had placed a bid for the project told CapeTalk, slammed the results of the project and said his proposed low-cost housing units would have cost between R52 000 to R54 000 per unit.

“With coronavirus, the huge rate of unemployment and hunger … they go and offer a tin shack which is just corrugated iron with a door and window for R64 000” Botes said.

‘We are not happy’, say Limpopo residents

Community members are understandably not happy with the provincial government’s work with the project. Some have even claimed to have come across some defects with the shacks, including doors being broken.

“We’re not happy…even today, right now together with the journalist, we tried to open the door but it broke”, said one community member who spoke to Enca on Tuesday, 4 August 2020.

“I think…if it was (an) RDP, it would be a little better because (R2.4 million) can help the community. Professionally, I am not happy and I’m just a little bit surprised because our premier he cut the ribbon for the temporary shacks”, the man said.

The latest scandal comes in the wake of a flurry of corruption allegations linked to the procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE) contracts  and reports that Mathabatha’s days in office are numbered.

According to The Citizen, a faction from President Cyril Ramaphosa’s camp is plotting to remove him before the end of his term in June 2022.

The plan was allegedly hatched after the ANC NEC voted to reinstate two provincial party members who had been asked to step aside after being implicated in the VBS Bank saga.