Tender deal ‘flawed’

Date: 05 Sep 2006
Some irregularities have been found in the awarding of housing tenders to a controversial North West construction company in Klerksdorp (Matlosana), an ad hoc committee has found. The inquiry into Toro Ya Africa company was instituted by the legislature’s Portfolio Committee on Developmental Local Government and Housing, led by Mahlakeng Mahlakeng. An ad hoc committee appointed in Klerksdorp had found that “indeed, there was some irregularity”, he said. The ad hoc committee recommended a forensic investigation, the results of which are expected by mid-October. Mahlakeng said the portfolio committee had been denied access to documents “due to the sensitive nature of the forensic investigation”. The exception was a council resolution confirming the appointment of Toro Ya Africa and two other contractors to build 5 000 units in the informal settlements of Jouberton, Kanana and Khuma. “(We) were surprised at the seemingly disproportionate allocation of this project,” said Mahlakeng. Toro Ya Africa was allocated 1 753 units in Jouberton and 2 599 units in Kanana, while the other contractors were awarded 332 and 316 units. The combined value of these projects is just over R15 million. In Klerksdorp the committee met representatives from the housing department of Matlosana Municipality, civil engineers, representatives of the municipal manager’s office and that of the Speaker. “At this meeting Matlosana Municipality mentioned there were suspected irregularities in the appointment of Toro Ya Africa on some projects.” The council then formed an ad hoc committee to investigate if proper procurement procedures had been followed. In Rustenburg, representatives of the municipality had been unable to “unambiguously” answer questions over whether or not Toro Ya Africa had been subcontracted by any of the companies awarded housing projects. The inquiry comes months after rumours about the tendering process surfaced. In December last year, the North West Housing Department took over housing delivery from Mafikeng Municipality in the wake of a tender scandal. This followed bad publicity over an R80 million Toro Ya Afrika contract. By Cathy Thomspon The Citizen 05/09/06