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Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has challenged private sector engineers to help government with their expertise in repairing South Africa’s crumbling infrastructure, the African News Agency reported. He specifically cited roads and waterworks across the country's struggling municipalities in his call for engineering skills.

Speaking during a panel discussion on collaboration at the inaugural Business Economic Indaba, Mboweni also criticised the private sector for collusion with corrupt municipal officials to swindle ratepayers funds by overcharging on projects. “If you check the water project in Giyani, it has been overinflated on price overtime. The project started as a R100 million project, but over years it has increased to R4.4 billion. This is corruption driven by private sector consultants. It's your people. They are colluding with municipal officials,” he said

Speaking at the same event, Cooperative Governance Minister Zweli Mkhize said that government was concerned about corruption and the state of municipalities. According to him, the lack of capacity and critical skills continue to hamper municipalities, which is why government has sent out expert teams to help resolve the crisis from a district level.

“Every business happens in a ward, in a particular municipality. The issues of governance and teams are built for trouble shooting to go solve problems. But what is most encouraging is the issue of partnership between government and business, as well as inclusivity and reaching out to those who are marginalized and addressing inequality,” Mkhize said.

“We need to find formulas on working on a solution to fight fraud and corruption. We need to do this together. If we correct all of these, we will create an environment conducive to growth and investment.”

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