Patricia de Lille’s failure to act on CBE Tribunal recommendations should be her swansong

Issued by Madeleine Hicklin – DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure
30 Jul 2022 in News

Please find attached a soundbite by Madeleine Hicklin MP

The failure by the Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure, Patricia de Lille, to act on the findings made by the Council for the Built Environment Tribunal (CBE) against the South African Council for the Architectural Profession (SACAP) is not only a violation of the Council for the Built Environment Act of 2000 (CBE Act), it also exposes de Lille’s failure to show leadership on Built-Environment Profession Councils under her ministry.

At a Tribunal held under the auspices of the CBE in Pretoria on the 23rd of June 2022, the tribunal made findings against SACAP leadership which suggest that:

  • The President of SACAP, the Registrar of SACAP and the Council, have effectively established themselves as a ‘self-serving collective’ that control a regulatory body and believes that it is beyond the realm of the law.
  • Incompetence and total disrespect of the law have become entrenched in SACAP.
  • There is an urgent need to take action against the President and the Registrar of the SACP, though, at the very least, removing them from office for individually and collectively destroying the credibility and integrity of the offices that they were employed to serve.

Despite these damning findings, de Lille has stubbornly refused to take action and has instead chosen to sidestep the issue in the vain hope that it will go away.

In doing so, de Lille is violating the CBE Act, which enjoins her, as the Minister responsible for councils of the built professions to ‘…promote sound governance of the built environment professions… and investigate or initiate investigations into matters pertaining [their] functions and policies with regard to the built environment’.

By refusing to act on the CBE Tribunal findings against SACAP, de Lille is neither promoting sound governance nor is she enforcing a sound code of conduct with regards to the proper functioning of the councils.

De Lille’s tap dancing around the CBE Tribunal’s findings is hardly surprising. This is the same Minister who went to extreme lengths to stop the release of a report into allegations of severe and repetitive governance challenges, bullying and sexual harassment at SACAP. Her motivation, it seems, has been to sweep the rot at SACAP under the carpet and hope it will all go away.

If de Lille has decided to abdicate on her responsibilities, the DA will not allow the impunity at SACAP to continue taking place without consequences. We will use every avenue available to us to ensure that they are held accountable.