Rebuilding the bridge Juju tried to build

2010-05-23 10:33

Municipalities in Limpopo are fixing two of several projects

displaying shoddy workmanship by a company linked to ANC Youth League ­president

Julius Malema.

A replacement contractor was on site at Kgapane in Modjadjiskloof

this week trying to fix a bridge that was washed away weeks after SGL

Engineering Projects completed it.

A landfill project that SGL ­abandoned in Mutale municipality,

Vhembe district, has since been fixed after a City Press exposé of how

­municipalities in Limpopo have awarded SGL R140 million worth of projects since


Malema denies any shareholding in SGL, but companies’ registrar

records indicate that he owns 70% of the company. The remaining shares belong to

Lesiba Gwangwa.

In the past two weeks, City Press visited the projects to see what

progress has been made.

At Kgapane in Modjadjiskloof, Tzaneen-based Makasana Construction

has been on site for the past three weeks repairing the damage to a bridge that

­collapsed after it was poorly built by SGL.

The bridge was part of a R27.9 million tender awarded to SGL to

build two bridges and pave a 14km stretch of road.

SGL and Greater Letaba ­municipality refused to say who hired

­Makasana to finish the project and at what cost but City Press ­understands

that the new company will be paid about R80 000.

The collapsed bridge had no ­underlying concrete layers and was in

effect a hill of soil covered with paving. The new contractor has ­already

knocked down part of the bridge, removed the paving and laid down layers of

steel and concrete ­before erecting a new drain.

Stone pitch – a mixture of rocks, concrete and cement – had been

put on the side of the bridge to prevent it from being washed away again.

After a property owner had ­complained about the design of the road

which had prevented her from ­accessing her home from the bridge, workers were

about to put a concrete slab between the bridge and a small wall on the

resident’s property to ­ensure vehicle access to the house.

When asked to comment on the ­repair work on the bridge, Gwangwa

said: “What bridge? Built by whom and where?”

Greater Letaba mayor City ­Modjadji said that people had

­complained and that the place was being fixed: “Now you want to put it in the

paper. This is unfair.”

While the Modjadjiskloof and Vhembe projects are being repaired,

nothing has been done to fix SGL’s mess on a road in Lepelle-Nkumpi


Although the municipality withheld R1.3 million from SGL due to

“poor performance”, the potholed road has since worsened.

Part of the road has now turned ­into a pool with muddy water, and

residents are forced to use a detour.

Mayor Calvin Masoga said a ­tender has been advertised for ­repairs

on the road.

Masoga could not say how much the repairs would cost the

municipality but he said the R1.3 million withheld from SGL would be used.


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