Citizen Reporter
Reporter
4 minute read
21 Oct 2021
5:07 pm

DA uncovers six multimillion-rand contracts given to Thalami Civils

Citizen Reporter

The DA also picked up discrepancies in the amounts allocated to the projects. Thalami Civils inflated the value of all its projects.

The R15 million Lesseyton sports field in the Enoch Mgijima municipality appears to be just the tip of the iceberg, as more questionable contracts by Thalami Civils are surfacing.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) revealed that at least six other multimillion-rand contracts were given to Thalami Civils.

“As part of our Tender Watch Eastern Cape initiative, the DA will be lodging a Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) application in connection to all tenders secured by Thalami Civils,” said Shadow MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Vicky Knoetze.

Knoetze said other key projects they are reviewing are:

  • The R6.8 million Centane Taxi Rank completed in the Mnquma Municipality in 2017.
  • The R4.4 million Theko Kona Outdoor Sports Facility completed in the Mnquma Municipality in 2018.
  • The R3.6 million Mpukane Community Hall completed in the Mnquma Municipality in 2015.
  • The R4 million Tsomo Taxi Rank completed in the Intsika Yethu Municipality in 2019.
  • The R5.4 million Sakhisizwe Sports Field Phase two completed in the Sakhisizwe Local Municipality in 2020.
  • The R41 million Cafutweni, Dutywa water supply scheme awared this year in the Amathole District Municipality.

The DA also picked up discrepancies in the amounts allocated to the projects, with the Mnquma Municipality’s 2016/17 Annual Report listing the Centani Taxi rank at R6.8 million, the Theko Kona facilities at R4.4 million, and the Mpukane Community Hall at R3.6 million.

This is in sharp contrast to Thalami Civils’ company profile, which puts the values at R64 million, R56 million and R35 million, respectively.

Thalami lists the Sakhisizwe sports field project at R7.5 million on their profile, whereas the municipality reported it as R5.4 million.

Another contractor who bid R22 million on the Cafutweni Water Scheme project has threatened legal action after finding out they lost to Thalami Civils, who charged R41 million.

Earlier this week, Knoetze and DA Shadow MEC for Economic Affairs, Jane Cowley, conducted oversight at some of these projects.

“From what we saw, there is no value for money being offered, and it would appear that these projects have been nothing more than a means to empty local municipal coffers of funds,” said Knoetze.

DA uncovers six multi-million rand contracts given to Thalami Civils. Centane Taxi Rank valued at R64 million. Picture DA.

“The Centane Taxi Rank sits in the middle of town and consists of slanted steel roof structures on pillars. There are three 60m2 structures and six 15m2 vendor stalls. On arrival, four of the stalls were closed, there was no electricity at the facility, and the fencing around the area had collapsed.”

Knoetze said toilet facilities at the taxi rank do not have water, so residents use water collected from a nearby open manhole to flush.

Cetane Taxi Rank by Thalami Civils R64 million.

Local taxi owners have flagged the Tsomo Taxi Rank in the Intsika Yethu Municipality as too small to use.

The facility only has space for two taxis, while the rest of the space is used as loading zones because they have no space for taxis to make turns. Two years after completion it remains unused.

“It was the Theko Kona Outdoor Sports Facility that was the most heart-breaking illustration of how residents are being robbed of their futures,” said Knoetze.

The project is situated at a considerable distance from towns and villages. It can only be found using GPS coordinates.

“There are no roads to the facility itself, with one having to drive over grass fields just to reach it,” explained Knoetze.

DA uncovers six multi-million rand contracts given to Thalami Civils.

There are two fields, of which only one could be deemed usable, a dilapidated netball court, the surface of which is already crumbling, a 120m2 dressing room with no water or electricity, and a water tank that is not connected to anything.

Theko Kona Outdoor Sports Facility by Thalami Civils.

“While travelling to these sites, it was clear the basic needs of residents in these areas are not being met,” said Knoetze.

Knoetze reported there’s no running water in the communities, raw sewage flowing down potholed streets, no electricity and no jobs.

“Yet these ANC-run municipalities deemed these multi-million-rand vanity projects more important? Residents have not received value for money in these initiatives,” she said.

DA uncovers six multi-million rand contracts given to Thalami Civils.

The DA said it would be lodging PAIA applications for all documentation relating to every tender awarded to Thalami Civils in the Eastern Cape at local, district and provincial government levels.

Once this documentation has been received, the party will review it and will, wherever possible, follow up with criminal charges, which may include theft, fraud, corruption and collusion.

(Compiled by Narissa Subramoney)