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Call to probe legislature tender

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The electrical installation as well several other jobs, were never done, although an amount of R4,2 million was paid.

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THE NATIONAL Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) has requested the Speaker of the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature to conduct a forensic investigation into the tender that was awarded to Prominent Emzanzi Projects for the multimillion-rand structural defects programme.

Employees at the legislature indicated that the toilets were still malfunctioning while the electrical problems and the water leakages had still not been fixed.

“There is no toilet paper and we have to supply our own. We do not know what or why it was neccessary to rip out the patlelo and it appears as if R1 million was spent on removing the concrete when there was nothing wrong with it in the first place.

“The legislature chambers are out of bounds because there are large cracks in the walls and the toilets are also out of order. No contractors have been working on the legislature precinct for some time now.”

The legislature was given a deadline of June 9 to comply with a direction notice that was issued by the Department of Labour relating to occupational health and safety regulations.

According to a letter that was received on behalf of the Speaker, Newrene Klaaste, on July 3, the electrical installation as well several other jobs, were never done, although an amount of R4,2 million was paid.

The union pointed out that payment for work not done, constituted fraud. “Nehawu was informed in writing by the NCPL manager, whose responsibility it was to approve payment, that no work had been done on the building during the past 18 months.”

The union added that it approached the supply chain manager, the chief financial officer of the NCPL and the secretary to report the matter, but no action was ever taken.

The union has given the Speaker seven days in which to appoint a reputable firm or company to conduct a forensic investigation into the structural defects programme and renovations at the NCPL.

Spokesperson for the legislature, Carmen Gopane, stated that a certificate of compliance was received for the administrative wing, members’ building and chamber area.

“The legislature chamber has not been declared unsafe or unsuitable for use. The decision by the legislature to shift all its house sittings to the Frances Baard District Municipality (FBDM) is not based on safety concerns, it is an interim measure, as the ablution facilities are not fully functioning.

“A contractor has been appointed and will address the ablution facilities this week.”

She added that there were no costs incurred as an agreement was reached to make use of the Frances Baard District municipality chamber.

“However, the Frances Baard District municipality has billed the institution in line with the municipal tariff rental costs.”

Gopane stated that emergency electrical work had been completed in the affected areas of the facility in order to ensure that compliance certificates were issued for occupation of the assembly wing, members’ wing and the administration building.

“The institution made representations to the Department of Labour requesting an extension for electrical work (re-routing of electrical cabling) in the basement and the legislature is awaiting feedback from the department.”

She indicated that all members and personnel of the legislature were being accommodated at the precinct, while the building, and as per the direction notice, has been vacated until all the work has been completed.

“All work on site will resume this week, with an emphasis on the completion of outstanding issues so that the legislature facility can be occupied accordingly.”