Youth festival: Pretoria firm made millions

2011-10-10 00:00

A LITTLE-KNOWN Pretoria construction business netted a nearly R2,3 million deal to provide the National Youth Development Agency with T-shirts, posters, banners, volunteers and vehicles for last December’s disastrous world youth festival.

Documents obtained by Media24 Investigations using access to information legislation show that Thenya Construction and Projects billed the NYDA:

•R1 100 000 for 20 000 T-shirts

•R700 000 for 20 000 posters

•R160 000 for 20 large banners

•R80 000 for 10 additional banners

•R240 000 in rental for 10 “pulling cars” with trailers carrying display boards.

Itumeleng Nene (28), the sole member of Thenya Construction, told Media24 Investigations that although the entity’s core business is construction, it also does “small projects and corporate events”.

“I do banners, T-shirts and promotional items.”

Asked about his affiliation to the ANC Youth League (ANCYL), Nene responded: “I’m a youth anyway … I’m part and parcel of the youth so I participate in whatever they’re doing.”

He said his business is registered as a vendor with government departments “all over the country”.

Asked if other businesses were asked to bid for the contract, Nene said: “I wouldn’t know about that. I had to submit a quotation. I’m on the database of NYDA.”

Copies of quotations and invoices show that NYDA CEO Steven Ngubeni and corporate affairs director Gugu Mjadu signed off on an initial R1,6 million quotation submitted by Thenya Construction. There are no indications that the NYDA attempted to obtain other quotes.

A hand-written note above Ngubeni’s signature notes: “CEO approved budget of R1,5 million; R1,446 m is used.” But the amount of R1,446 million does not take into account an additional R220 000 in VAT.

And, in what appears to be a subsequent invoice, quantities of T-shirts and posters have been doubled from an initial 10 000 to 20 000 and the costs have increased by R1 million. That invoice is only signed by Mjadu.

None of the quotations and invoices are dated.

Yesterday, Media24 Investigations revealed that the NYDA doled out contracts to politically-connected businessmen and squandered millions in an orgy of spending.

• investigations@media24.com

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