Malema linked to ‘wrecked’ taxi rank

2011-04-02 16:13

ANC Youth League President ­Julius Malema has been linked to another failed construction project – a collapsed R2-million taxi rank in Limpopo.

SGL Engineering Projects, a company that has had at least three municipal projects taken over after non-performance, won the tender to build the R2.1?million Apel Cross Taxi Rank in Ga-Masemola, south of Polokwane, in March 2006.

At the time, Malema was listed as a director of SGL. When his link to the company was revealed last year he claimed his signature had been forged and said he was never a ­director. Malema has since ­resigned as a director.

City Press has obtained tender documents that the municipality previously told the Public ­Protector had been lost. The ­documents showed that SGL had subcontracted the construction of the taxi rank to two companies – Ever Roaring Investments and Moloko Business Enterprises.

Malema was also a director of Ever Roaring at the time.

According to the documents, the contract was split in two – R1.8?million for construction and R300?000 to SGL as consulting engineers.

Moloko’s director, Mathews Mathabatha, was one of Malema’s business partners in Ever Roaring.

Malema was a director in Ever Roaring until last June.

City Press has identified the following problems with the project:
» The rank was completed in ­October 2009, two years after its original deadline of August 2007;
» In March 2008 Moloko and ­Ever Roaring were kicked off the project because of non-performance and another company had to complete the project;
» The Greater Sekhukhune district municipality had initially ­refused to sign off on the project as it had questions about the roof’s design, according to a probe by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela;
» Water and electricity have still not been supplied to the taxi rank though it is stipulated in the ­contract;
» One section of the taxi rank’s roof caved in in October last year, a year after construction was ­completed, and;
» Minutes of several site meetings held between SGL, contractors, labourers and the project steering committee show that some of the labourers were not paid for up to four months.

Municipal spokesperson Willy Mosoma said part of the roof collapsed due to natural disasters and not through any fault of SGL. However, he could not elaborate on these “natural disasters”.

He said the municipality was working with Eskom to supply electricity and water to the rank.

Mosoma’s version of how the roof collapsed was disputed by the chairperson of the Masemola ­Local and Long Distance Taxi Association Danie Mohlala, taxi drivers and hawkers, who believed it happened because poor quality materials had been used.

Malema, through his spokesperson, Floyd Shivambu, refused to comment, saying he would not ­respond to questions from this ­reporter.

In a recent meeting with City Press editors, Malema “banned” Rampedi from all youth league ­activities after he’d reported on Malema’s business interests.

SGL project engineer Thomas Mulaudzi and company lawyer Mpoyana Ledwaba acknowledged receipt of questions sent to them but they failed to respond.

City Press revealed last year that SGL had been awarded government tenders worth at least R140?million by municipalities in Limpopo.

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