LettersOpinion

Observer concerned about contractors

Madam – After a number of years where the residents of Madadeni were told that a swimming pool was to be built, a contract was awarded in March 2011 for an amount of R3 122 697,61 to cover the costs of the project known as the upgrade of Phelindaba Sports Field and was entrusted to the …

Madam – After a number of years where the residents of Madadeni were told that a swimming pool was to be built, a contract was awarded in March 2011 for an amount of R3 122 697,61 to cover the costs of the project known as the upgrade of Phelindaba Sports Field and was entrusted to the Department of Technical Services.

Two consulting firms were appointed to design and supervise the project and to act as project managers.

During June 2011, the project however was suspended after it was established that construction work was being done on the incorrect position of the site. The blame for this was later placed on a municipal official who had (conveniently?) left. This is difficult to understand, especially after consulting engineers were appointed to oversee and manage this project.

It can also be recalled, that in an article published in the Advertiser some time ago, the municipality reported that because the construction work was in the wrong place, the municipality would not pay the contractor for the work she had done. This ended in court action, resulting in the municipality having to pay the contractor with costs. This issue was also a matter raised by the Auditor General in his 2011/2012 report.

An investigation was called for and a 45 plus page report was submitted in December 2012.

It was shocking to find in this report, revelations of what can only be described as mis-management and incompetence of every department, committee and section that was involved in the awarding and the supervision of this contract which starts with the Supply Chain, every process in between, and the Municipal Manager, including the consulting engineers as well as missing documentation.

In this report there seems to be much blame being thrown around such as the blame on the official who had left the municipal services and who, for some or other reason could not be traced.

This damning report has somehow been kept under wraps with no disciplinary action being taken while the consultants continue raking in money from Council.

The fact that almost every project undertaken by the municipality is handled by consulting engineers and contractors (service providers) go through the same process as the Phelindaba contract, where so much has gone wrong, is most concerning, leaving one to wonder if there is any project where the community can feel assured that projects will be properly run.

OBSERVER

Editors Note:

Despite being given over a month to comment on issues and allegations raised in the above letter, the communications department of the Newcastle Municipality had failed to do so by the time of publication.

Related Articles

Back to top button