DA questions eNatis contract

2010-09-30 07:11

Leaked documents suggested that the transport department unlawfully signed a five-year contract for managing the national traffic information system, eNatis, without putting it out to tender, the Democratic Alliance (DA) claimed yesterday.

DA transport spokesperson Stuart Farrow said he was in possession of letters showing that the transport department renewed the contract with Tasima “in spite of a serious breakdown in services being offered, and warnings from the Road Traffic Management Corporation’s acting chief executive officer that the contract renewal would be irregular and unlawful”.

“The correspondence reveals that the perfectly legitimate request made by Mr Letsoalo, the Road Traffic Management Corporation’s acting CEO, for the tender to be advertised publicly was turned down, and that the director-general of the department of transport, Mr George Mahlalela, awarded Tasima with a five-year contract.”

Farrow said a senior transport department official claimed in a letter dated May 4 that the contract did not need to be advertised for tender because it was a running agreement with Tasima.

But according to the DA, this was not the case because the contract had lapsed in 2008 and since then the company had been working with the department on a month-to-month basis.

In the same letter, Farrow said the department’s deputy director of transport regulation “breathtakingly” suggested that the deal with Tasima should be renewed because it was in the best interest of their new shareholders that this be done.

“He provides no reasons why the department of transport should be interested in the shareholders of a private company,” he added.

Farrow said the DA would call on the chairman of Parliament’s public accounts committee, Themba Godi, to launch an inquiry into whether the department violated the Public Finance Management Act.

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