Last week in his response to a question for oral reply regarding the awarding of the R631-million contract to build 66 000 toilets in the Amathole district municipality (ADM) by the Siyenza Group, Cooperative Governance MEC Fikile Xasa had the following to say, as per the draft Hansard record.
The MEC said that due process had been followed throughout, as the tender was originally awarded to Siyenza by the Municipal Infrastructure Support Agency (MISA), following a competitive bidding process. The ADM had then invoked the provisions of Section 32 (1) of the Supply Chain Management (SCM) regulations. This was ostensibly done to save costs, avoiding the costly process of initiating a procurement process from scratch.
The DA is concerned that this original awarding of the contract by MISA might have been flawed, as it appears that there are many compliance and certification deficiencies regarding Siyenza Group, including the fact that it is allegedly not tax complaint.
The DA Shadow Minister for Cooperative Governance in the National Assembly, Kevin Mileham MP, will ask questions in this regard and will invoke the Promotion of Access to Information Act of necessary.
The MEC went further to say that the ADM had no reason to believe that the original contract was NOT validly procured. In this regard he said: “where there is evidence of its application (Section 32 (1)) being abused, the matter will be subjected to investigation, as part of the broader implementation of the SCM process in the municipality.”
The DA believes that the recent exposure by the Daily Dispatch of this lucrative tender being awarded to several family members of highly placed ANC-leaders, alone merits an investigation. This obviously escapes MEC Xasa. As an ANC NEC-member he, like Jackson Mthembu, obviously has to defend No.1 and the others.
The MEC also very “innocently” said he doesn’t award these tenders, but that they are awarded by ADM at their discretion (sounds similar to President “I don’t know”).
The MEC also says that the ADM has been given the authority by the citizens of ADM to be economic and efficient with their resources, that is why Siyenza was awarded the contract through the provisioning of Section 32 (1) of the SCM regulations.
The only thing economical about this is the fact that it appears that many highly placed ANC-leaders and officials are being economical with the truth!
Lastly, it would seem that this contractor has been paid more than R114 million to date and that there is a discrepancy between how many toilets Jackson Mthembu says have been built (+/- 20 000) and the MEC says (12 533).
My visits to the municipalities in ADM have shown that despite the latest flurry of delivery of toilet building material, very few have actually been built. What adds insult to injury in this regard is that they are so pathetically badly constructed.
This is another blatant case of the ANC saying one thing and doing another. The ANC says it cares, but what it actually does speaks of something else.
Nokonwaba Dorah Matikinca
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