Botched tender sees R200m in taxpayers’ money wasted – report

R200 million in taxpayers’ money has been wasted following a botched tender process in Limpopo, City Press reported.

Steel water pipes were rendered unusable after being left to rot on the side of a road since 2010.

They were meant to channel water from the Nandoni Dam outside Thohoyandou, to Nsami Dam in Giyani, Limpopo, the paper reported.

Esorfranki Pipelines took the Mopani District Municipality to the Supreme Court of Appeal to challenge its decision to appoint Tlo Re Yeng and Base Major Joint Venture for the contract.

In March 2014, the SCA ruled that the tender process was illegal and the municipality was forced to cancel the tender.

In 2015, the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) took over the project and appointed Vharanani Properties, owned by Limpopo businessman David Mabilu, to install the 51km pipeline.The department brought over new pipes from Spain at a cost of R100 million, City Press.

The project was the abandoned by Vharanani Properties eight months ago, after the department allegedly failed to pay the company, with the new pipes left abandoned on site.

Vharanani Properties’ operations director Chris Mthombeni told the paper: “We left the site in February. But the pipes have been lying there for over a year. They owe us about R40 million.

“We could go back to the site, if we ever go back, to find that the pipes are no longer fit for purpose. The department will have to pay another R100 million to buy new pipes.”

Read: New attempt to “bypass” Treasury on tender laws: report

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Botched tender sees R200m in taxpayers’ money wasted – report