Home News Sol suspensions cost R1.4 million

Sol suspensions cost R1.4 million

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Private service providers appointed for a year

Private service providers have been appointed at a cost of R1.4 million after nine officials in the building control section were suspended. File picture

THE SOL Plaatje Municipality is paying more than R116 000 a month to allow services at its Building Control Section to continue following the suspension of nine employees.

In a report on procurement deviations, which was submitted at this week’s Sol Plaatje City Council meeting, it was pointed out that only two employees in the Building Control Section were not suspended.

Among those suspended, according to the report, was the Building Inspector and the Technical Assistant to the Manager of Building Control.

“Due to a general risk of a shortage of technical support personnel and also in mitigation of the current situation, the Building Control Section requested quotations from service providers, including Aganang Consulting Engineers and Jonroy Design Studio,” the report states.

“The companies would assist in the technical capacitation for the processing of building plans for the next 12 months, from April 24, 2017 to April 24, 2018.”

It was pointed out that this would ensure continuity in terms of basic service delivery and also close the current significant gap in the Building Control Section.

“Having considered the available skills in both companies, coupled with the need to meet our service delivery obligations, it became prudent to utilise the services of both companies on a needs basis.

“Furthermore it should be noted that the delay in the appointment of technical support staff will have consequences pertaining to the day-to-day functioning of the Building Control Section as well as the processing of building plans, both backlog and new applications.”

The quote accepted from Aganang Consulting Engineers amounted to R62 026 while Jonroy Design Architects was R54 720, giving a combined monthly cost of R116 736. This amounts to R1.4 million for the year’s contract.

Meanwhile the municipality also spent R1.27 million on clearing erven in Colville for the relocation of the Santa Centre community.

In the motivation for the procurement deviation, it was stated that the municipality planned to survey the land occupied at Santa Centre but realised that based on the projected yield, not all residents would be accommodated in the settlement.

“Various options were considered and three areas were recommended by the Town Planning Section. These areas were subsequently investigated for suitability and the costs associated to prepare the land for town planning activities.”

However, while this was in progress, protests erupted, which according to the report, put an insurmountable amount of pressure on the need to speed up the process of town planning and the relocation of families in excess of what the site could accommodate.

According to the report, the only service provider that could be found and was available for a site inspection and could establish site the same day was Tshiya Infrastructure Development.

The company submitted a time-related machinery quote, with an estimated 20 days to complete the job. The quote amounted to R1.274 million.