GladAfrica still raking in the money in Tshwane despite cancelled contract

2019-09-03 05:14
Pretoria CBD. (iStock)

Pretoria CBD. (iStock)

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Despite its contract having been declared irregular expenditure and cancelled by mutual agreement, GladAfrica is still raking in money from the City of Tshwane.

The enormous project management consultancy agreement, signed in November 2017, was terminated by mutual agreement between the City and GladAfrica, with the contract formally ending in June.

It was also declared irregular expenditure by the Auditor-General this year, and flagged by various legal entities for procurement process irregularities.

Despite this, GladAfrica continues to be paid by the City for work commissioned as part of the contract.

READ | Accounting for GladAfrica: Will Tshwane city manager get away with it?

In one instance, the City paid it more than R500 000 for project management services on the construction of a storage facility at the Wonderboom fire station for the City's emergency medical service (EMS) department.

This payment was for the "design" of the project, which was sub-contracted to a local architect, and putting together the tender documentation.

The total amount to be paid for this specific project was R615 000, the company confirmed to News24.

This excluded construction, which must still be tendered for, according to GladAfrica.

A R1 190 500 task order for the "renovation and upgrading of EMS facilities" still needed to be completed, as of February this year.

ANALYSIS | Is this the end of GladAfrica?

This forms part of a list of GladAfrica task orders in progress, completed and awaiting approval, which was attached to council minutes tabled in the council in February this year.

Those council minutes also show that more than R94m were still due to be paid to GladAfrica as a result of various task orders that were already underway when the contract was cancelled.

The minutes also show that, as of February, the City was expected to pay GladAfrica R250m by the end of the 2018/2019 financial year for ongoing projects.

And as of February, nearly R500m had been paid to the firm, according to the council minutes.

Other documents seen by News24 show GladAfrica's logo on the top of site plans and other memos sent by the architect of the storage facility to Previn Govender, the City's EMS head.

Another document shows GladAfrica Project Managers is the "consultant" on the Wonderboom storage facility project. The documents are from June and August this year, and indicate that various plans and drawings were sent by the structural engineer and architect on the project to the municipality for approval.

READ MORE | Tshwane's controversial GladAfrica tender faces another forensic probe

City spokesperson Lindela Mashigo told News24 the facility was to "accommodate larger special operations vehicles at the Wonderboom fire station due to it proximity of access to major routes".

Mashigo said Govender was the person who would have to sign off on the plans as they went through the municipal approval system.

Through its communications department, GladAfrica said the task order for this specific project was signed in October 2018 and it was planned for completion by November 2019.

"GladAfrica completed the design and tender documentation portion of the project before our contract was terminated by mutual consent at the end of June 2019," the company added.

A tender had not been put out for the construction part of the project yet, GladAfrica said.

It added this formed part of the project management contract it had entered into with the City in November 2017, which was ultimately cancelled.

"Part of the task orders issued included the provision of full professional services for the design of a storage hangar at the Wonderboom emergency service station."

Other task orders still outstanding include feasibility studies for a fire station and training centre, both for the EMS department.

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