Businessmen complaining about tenders ‘got contracts worth hundreds of millions’

2015-06-03 14:04
Wandile Bozwana at the properties he built for the provincial government . Picture: Dumisane Lubisi

Wandile Bozwana at the properties he built for the provincial government . Picture: Dumisane Lubisi

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The North West government has rubbished claims by some aggrieved local businessmen who allege that they are being denied government contracts because of political favouritism.

According to the provincial government, some of the businessmen complaining about being sidelined from government contracts have, in fact, benefited handsomely over the years and are still being awarded state contracts.

This was revealed in a press briefing held in Potchefstroom yesterday.

The North West government named three of the aggrieved businessmen and outlined some of contracts they have received, in order to illustrate what the province described as “the extent of this group’s greed”.

The men have made allegations against Premier Supra Mahumapelo, accusing him of having ordered that some of them be sidelined and blacklisted. Mahumapelo was also accused of interfering in government procurement processes and influencing the awarding of tenders in favour of his cronies.

Mahumapelo’s office has strongly refuted this – saying he was not allowed in any way to be involved in tender awarding processes – and challenged his accusers to substantiate their claims with proof.

Trouble started a few weeks ago when the group of businessmen made public their discontent and accused Mahumapelo of suffocating their businesses.

But yesterday the province revealed that Wandile Bozwana, Sello Mogodiri and Fana Morake – all of whom have complained of being sidelined – had “in fact benefited greatly from government tenders”.

According to provincial government records, Bozwana was currently working on government-awarded projects estimated at R305 million.

North West Public Works MEC Madoda Sambatha said Bozwana had completed projects worth an estimated R519 million.

“It is estimated that over the past 10 years this individual, who claims not to have benefited from government procurement, got in excess of R1 billion from the local and provincial government.

“This is not consistent with the malicious statements that have been made on public platforms and in the media about being denied business opportunities,” Sambatha said.

The other aggrieved businessman, Morake, is said to have scored R139 million in government contracts.

City Press reported over the weekend that Bozwana had accused Mahumapelo of sabotaging his business prospects.

Responding, Bozwana repeated his accusations. He added that Mahumapelo and the North West government were working against ANC policies that sought to empower black businessmen.

“They are proud to reveal how much we benefited when big guns in the construction industry like Group Five can cite billions of rands benefited annually in government contracts. How are we supposed to get to their level if we’re not empowered by the government?” Bozwana asked.

Mogodiri said he could not comment before seeing the government’s statement, and Morake could not be reached for comment.
Read more on:    supra mahumapelo  |  north west

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