Msunduzi sues SA Incinerator Co

2015-10-15 10:19
Msunduzi Mayor Chris Ndlela tests the new cremator at the Mountain Rise Cemetery at the handover by the contractors on August?16, 2013. With him is the contractor James Fairbrass, MD of SA Incinerator Company.

Msunduzi Mayor Chris Ndlela tests the new cremator at the Mountain Rise Cemetery at the handover by the contractors on August?16, 2013. With him is the contractor James Fairbrass, MD of SA Incinerator Company. (File)

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Pietermaritzburg - Msunduzi Municipality wants the company that installed two new cremators and refurbished a third at Mountain Rise cemetery in 2013 to refund the R5 728 616 it was paid. 

The municipality complains in high court papers that the SA Incinerator Co (Pty) Ltd failed to comply with the terms of its contract.

It allegedly breached the contract by sub-contracting out all (or a major part) of the job and by providing work and equipment that was “materially defective”. The municipality is also asking the company to pay additional damages of R1 064 856 to cover the increased costs that will have to be borne by Msunduzi if it has to appoint new contractors to start again. Alternatively Msunduzi says SA Incinerator could correct the allegedly defective work on the cremators at a cost of R389 500.

The SA Incinerator Co is opposing Msunduzi’s demands and has filed a ­motion asking the high court to dismiss the case on grounds that the summons and particulars of claim lodged by the municipality are “confusing, vague and embarrassing”.

The case was yesterday adjourned sine die (without a court date being set) by high court Judge Trevor Gorven.

Two weeks ago The Witness reported on the crippling effect that the pending legal wrangle and a malfunctioning furnace at Mountain Rise was having on the community wanting to conduct cremations. Local undertakers said they were under “immense pressure” after two cremators had stopped operations three weeks earlier.

In yesterday’s high court papers Msunduzi Municipality says it first invited tenders in respect of the contract for the replacement of cremators at Mountain Rise Crematorium in October 2012.

In March 2013, Msunduzi accepted the tender submitted by the SA Incinerator Co. In terms of their contract the company allegedly undertook to entirely remove one existing cremator, and to supply and install two new cremators.

The papers state that the company undertook to comply with all applicable legislation, and warranted that all the materials and components used and supplied, would comply with SABS specifications. Work would be performed and completed in a “proper workmanlike manner” and meet the required health and safety regulations.

Msunduzi maintains that in terms of the agreement the company undertook not to sub-contract the work to anyone else without Msunduzi’s consent.

It also accepted responsibility for the “repair and replacement” of any defects within 12 months of delivery.

The agreed contract price was R5 324 283, plus a further R495 000 for the “refurbishment” of the existing cremator and R40 000 per month for five years for maintenance. To date, Msunduzi said it has paid the company R5 728 616 but maintains the company breached its contract by subcontracting all “or a substantial part” of the work without consent, and “performed work and supplied services and equipment which were materially defective”.

The company has also allegedly not provided any maintenance.

Msunduzi alleges that if it had to award the contract from scratch to someone else the cost would increase to R6 389 139

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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