Gauteng’s MEC for Human Settlements and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta), Lebogang Maile, has been placed at the centre of the Alex Renewal Project probe.
It was alleged that the MEC has personally benefitted from a sizable portion of the R1.3-billion former president Thabo Mbeki set aside, in 2001, for the project.
What happened to the Alex Renewal Project?
This project was targeted at addressing most of the social issues that the township currently faces.
In 2001, several non-profit organisations collaborated with key figures in the private sector, as well as the government, to launch the project with the vision of changing the social and economical infrastructure of the township.
However, 18 years later, and the community is still up in arms about the lack of service delivery, appropriate housing and the huge influx of illegal informal housing structures.
Central to the project is the funding that no one seems to know where it went.
Key figures in the structure of the ANC have been pointed to as the ones responsible for allegedly looting the billions that were earmarked for the project.
Maile and his brother, Mike Maile, is also included in the list of those who are accused of laundering the money for personal gain.
Is there evidence of Maile’s hand in alleged ARP looting?
However, the MEC has refuted these claims, calling for those with evidence to come forth with it.
“The ARP budget was estimated to be R1.3bn for over a period of seven years. It should be stated that the said R1.3bn was never a ring-fenced amount where a particular individual or official was responsible.
“This amount was a total sum of contributions that were going to be made by all spheres of government as well as by all provincial departments,” he said.
Maile further claimed that there is empirical proof that clearly shows that those who spearheaded the project — himself included — spent the money on its intended purpose.
“Through the records at our disposal, the ARP has delivered a number of projects ranging from housing projects to bulk infrastructure to social infrastructure,” he added.
According to the Gauteng MEC, this is where the ARP funds went:
- development of 1 700 units in Extension 7;
- development of 181 units in Extension 8;
- construction of 840 double-storey units;
- 1 424 semi-detached double-storey houses with rental rooms
He further revealed that, contrary to unfounded allegations, the funds for the ARP were sourced from:
- Gauteng Department of Human Settlements — R600-million;
- City of Johannesburg — R463-million;
- Municipal Infrastructure grant — R173-million;
- Human Settlements fund — R88-million:
- Economic Development — R15-million; and
- Transport Department — R109-million
Maile challenged those who have claimed that his family, and other ANC top operatives, benefitted illegally from the project to come forth with the evidence to refute that which he has provided.
“We’re not saying there’s not been corruption. We do not know but people are saying there has been corruption. We are saying if there has been, please provide information,” he said.