Pothole tender dispute: Contractor forum to file interdict against EMLM

TENDER ISSUE: Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality mayor Luleka Gubula addressed the Enoch Mgijima Local Contractors’ Forum with, from left, Ezibeleni ward 4 councillor Mzikabawo Ngesi and ward 8 councillor Dumisani Njozela at a community hall in Ezibeleni on Tuesday Picture: ABONGILE SOLUNDWANA

TheEnoch Mgijima Local Contractors’ Forum (EMLCF) was set to file a court interdict against the local municipality (EMLM)  over the awarding of  the tender for pothole repairs in Ezibeleni.

The Rep reported (Contractors’ disputes stop pothole repairs, October 23) that disgruntled contractors had stopped work on Fikile Gwadana Drive last week as they claimed to have been sidelined in the bidding process.

Akhona Qole, of the EMLCF, said they wanted an investigation into the way the tender processes had unfolded.

“Out of 42 companies that bought documents only seven were informed properly about the closing date of tender documents. Seven received notification on time. Most did not receive the notices on time, but were given short notice of two days.

”Usually it takes 30 to 60 days before it can be awarded.” .

He said the contractors would reject the packages on offer for subcontractors  until the court interdict was finalised.

On Tuesday, EMLCF members called a meeting with EMLM mayor Luleka Gubula to express their grievances.

Qole added that the forum distanced itself from being considered as a structure under the Enoch Mgijima Business Forum,  led by Sakhile Mvana.

Qole said contractors believed Mvana had influenced the final decision to hire a Whittlesea contractor, currently operating on site.

He accused Mvana of doing this to gain  political support in Whittlesea.

We want the municipality to consult us contractors concerning construction tender processes instead of the business forum that not does not understand our sector as we do,” Qole said.

Gubula said EMLM would meet with the main contractor, and the the concerns raised would be put forward.

Contractors wanted to know why a grade 3 contractor from Whittlesea was hired while there were also grade 3 level contractors in Ezibeleni.

Our work ends with the Integrated Development Plan, where we state our requirements. We cannot be employers and do oversight at the same time. We have to allow others to play their role.

”Our duty is to state that Enoch Mgijima as a whole must be prioritised for development.”

Gubula said the meeting would focus on the 30% which should be awarded to local contractors.

She said the EMLCF’s issue with the business forum would also be addressed.

Dismissing the EMLCF’s allegations, Mvana said: “I am not an employee of the municipality or any other entity of government. I do not sit in any tender adjudication committee of the municipality or government institution. As a matter of principle, I advise that whoever has evidence of any wrongdoing on my side to report it to law enforcement agencies…I treat these allegations as an attempt to tarnish my reputation. As a result, I’ve resolved to consider legal advice, and will be opening a case of defamation of character against the individual responsible for these rumours,”

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