Payment issues slow Mooi River rehabilitation

2016-07-21 11:03
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Pietermaritzburg - Claims of no payment and counter claims of no work have bogged down the rehabilitation of Mooi River town after phase one of the project.

About nine emerging local Mpofana companies were contracted to perform specific services in the project which is part of Cogta’s rehabilitation of small towns.

With R5 million having been committed to the first phase of the project, the subcontractors said they had provided services such as building toilets and vendors’ shelters, painting road marks, and erecting sign boards, street signs and humps.

Upon finishing the work, the subcontractors said they were told the Mpofana Municipality had not paid the main contractor.

One of the subcontractors, who asked not to be named, said they had been left in the dark as to when the payment would be made.

“For four months small companies from the four wards invested all they had in this project. Although the financial year has ended, we have received nothing. It is difficult when you know that money has been committed to the project yet the service providers have not been paid,” said the source.

Municipal manager Max Moyo said the payment had been delayed because they needed to verify some of the claims submitted by the small contractors.

“We have a main contractor whom we deal with. The subcontractors were given work as a way of empowering them.

“The subcontractors submit their invoices to the main contractor and the main contractor consolidates all the claims before submitting them to us. Now the problem is that in some instances people are claiming money for where there has been no work done. We can not honour that claim,” he said.

Moyo said the municipality would pay all the verified claims before end of business yesterday.

“The other problem is that some of those subcontractors do not have money in their bank accounts to cover the costs.

“As the municipality we cannot make upfront payments because there is no guarantee that the work would be done,” he said.

Moyo said phase two of the project, which is expected to cost R3 million, would start soon.

The main contractor, only identified as Sibisi, said he was not allowed to speak to the media.

• sabelo.nsele@witness.co.za

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg
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