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MALINDZA - Resettled Sikhuphe residents are demanding E48.1 million compensation from Inyatsi Construction Group Holdings.

These are the residents who were resettled to pave way for the construction of the King Mswati III International Airport, a project which commenced in 2001.
The E48.1 million, which the resettled residents are demanding, is a ‘balance’ of the E6.9m which was approved by government since the consultant which was hired to evaluate the compensation for the Sikhuphe community members, recommended that they should be paid a sum of E55m.


Dr Tambo Gina, the Minister of Economic Planning and Development, met with the affected residents at Sulutane Primary School yesterday at Malindza in the Lubombo Region, where he delivered a report about the compensation, which was adopted and approved by Parliament in April 2020. The minister said government received a claim of E55m compensation from the affected residents. However, he mentioned that normally, the contractor, which in this case was Inyatsi Construction Group Holdings, should have budgeted to compensate the community for any damages they suffered.

Nonetheless, the minister said government said it would not fold its arms and watch, thus it approved E6.9m towards the compensation. The affected residents are represented by Lawyer Bongani Mdluli and during the meeting, he asked if the E6.9m, approved by government, was a full and final settlement or it was part of the E55m which they demanded.

The residents’ lawyer said he was asking this question because there were many residents who were affected and the damages were huge. This publication gathered that Mdluli is representing about 250 households.

In response, the minister said some of the things which were listed in the E55m demand, were not included in the E6.9m which was approved by government through Cabinet and Parliament. He said this meant that the other items in the E55m claim would be discussed at a later stage.

However, he clarified that he should not be misquoted as having said government would bring the balance of E48.1m.  It was then that the residents, who had noted that the report which was delivered by the minister recommended that the rest of the compensation should be paid by the contractor on site, demanded that Inyatsi Construction Group Holdings should compensate them.

Dvokodvweni Member of Parliament (MP) Mduduzi Magagula, who is also the chairman of the Economic Planning and Development Portfolio Committee, confirmed that the report recommended that the rest of the settlement should come from the contractor on site.  He added that according to the report, which was issued in April 2020, the recommendations should be implemented in two months (May and June 2020).

Meanwhile, by the time of compiling this report, Inyatsi Construction Group Holdings Marketing Manager Gugulethu Bennett, had not responded to a questionnaire which was sent to her after the meeting yesterday.

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