Time to stand up to the “construction mafia” at Manenberg School of Skills

This morning I visited the site where the Manenberg School of Skills is under construction. Work at the site was interrupted at the end of last month by a group of individuals attempting to extort the appointed contractor.

 

The construction of Manenberg School of Skills is an R84 million project, scheduled to take 87 weeks. Any delay in construction has a direct impact on the community, which is in desperate need of more places for learners in Schools of Skills.

 

We have now received additional information about a group seeking to intimidate the contractors on the site.

 

Today, I met with a senior South African Police Service (SAPS) officer at the Manenberg police station, where I provided this information in the form of an affidavit to the SAPS.

 

We will not be held to ransom by those who seek to exploit public funds, and will give SAPS our full support in ending the extortion rackets that plague our building industry. Our children’s futures come first.

 

A group arrived at the site and demanded to be awarded a contract for providing security services in exchange for “protecting” the site from gangs. They also wanted all contracts for supply of materials to be awarded to businesses that are under the ownership or control of the group and their associates.

 

They harassed, intimidated, and threatened the contractors.

 

It is imperative that our government be allowed to construct schools speedily, unencumbered by illegal extortion practices that compromise the delivery of enough places for learners in our schools.

 

The number of learners in our schools increases by an average of around 18 000 learners each year. There is also great need for places in Schools of Skills, which offer learners hope, dignity, and the skills they need to thrive in our economy.

 

We need to build 18 to 20 schools – or the same number of classrooms – each year to ensure that we can deliver quality education to every learner, in every classroom, in every school in the province.

 

But we cannot do this when criminal elements put their personal gain ahead of the needs of our children.

 

It’s time to stand up to the “construction mafia”.

 

If you interfere in our school construction sites, we will not hesitate to involve SAPS. Be warned.

 

 

 

Source: Government of South Africa

Science & Technology