DA accused of victimising Mpisane over tender deals

2014-05-26 00:00

THE City of Durban has rebuffed claims by the Democratic Alliance that they favoured controversial businesswoman Shauwn Mpisane’s company when they awarded a R255 million tender in February.

Zikhulise Cleaning, Maintenance and Transport — which has landed almost R700 million in city tenders and contracts in two years — was awarded the plush contract under Section 36 regulations. The loophole allowed the city to circumvent the normal tender process because of the “urgent need” for service delivery.

The DA’s scathing criticism of the contract has now come under fire from the municipality, who accused them of victimising Mpisane’s company.

The contract for the construction of low-cost housing units in Umlazi was tabled for discussion at a finance and procurement committee sitting last Tuesday.

Spokesperson Thabo Mofokeng said that the party should not “be selective and only single out certain contractors for scrutiny”.

“The municipality awards tenders worth huge amounts to contractors of different races and gender,” he said.

“The slow delivery of houses and services has resulted in public protests, council being taken to court and various other demonstrations by different stakeholders within the city.”

Mofokeng said that Zikhulise was able to expediently deliver on the first phase of the project despite the “the steep topography conditions of the site”.

“Based on the high speed of delivery on this project, where the company delivered approximately 300 houses per month, a full complimentary quality monitoring team from the Provincial Department of Human Settlements, National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC), and eThekwini Municipality Inspectors have been dedicated on site, ensuring daily quality assurance,” he said.

He justified not putting the contract out to tender, insisting that the city had not erred by using Section 36 regulations.

“In awarding the contract, the municipality followed proper processes, as Section 36 is part of the municipality’s Supply Chain Management Regulations.”

In the past two years there are only two contracts that were awarded to Zikhulise. “In addition, about 100 small contractors are benefiting from sub-contracting work as part of this project and hundreds have been gainfully employed.”

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