City cancels corrupt R161 million fire engine contract, Douglasdale CPF divulges further

The chairperson of the Douglasdale Community Policing Forum (CPF), Jean Berdou.

 

After the mayor of the City of Johannesburg, Herman Mashaba released a statement that the City has cancelled a corrupt R161 million fire engine contract, this is what the chairperson of the Douglasdale Community Policing Forum (CPF) Jean Berdou had to say:

“Some time ago the City went into a contract with some contractors to provide new fire engines. Things seemed on track and people were excited, however, when the contractor delivered the fire trucks, we realised that some equipment was missing from them.”

Berdou added that they were quite disappointed as they wanted the whole truck complete with all its equipment. “Once the dispute started that was when things came out in the open,” he said.

He added due to various dispute irregularities, the contract was then looked at in more detail which led to it being cancelled. “Rescue is for all and I passionately believe that it is very important to provide decent services to the community, be it in Diepsloot or Broadacres,” Berdou said.

According to Mashaba, the City decided to cancel the R161 million contract for the provision of fire engines after it was discovered that the tender was awarded on the basis of forged Bid Evaluation Committee documents.

“The agreement, entered into in 2015, was allegedly entered on condition that the contractor furnished the City with a performance guarantee of R16 million and that it demonstrated that it had sufficient cash flow to enable delivery,” Mashaba said.

He added that a purchased order of R19 million was also issued in favour of the contractor for delivery of the first set of fire engines to the City.

Mashaba explained, “Alarm bells rang after the contractor not only failed to provide the performance guarantee but also failed to deliver the 29 new fires engines per the contract. This contractor has since been placed under business rescue proceedings.”

Mashaba further added that upon investigation by the City’s new head of Group Legal Services, Isaac Mogashoa, it appeared that the minutes from the Bid Evaluation Committee, which sat to adjudicate proposals for the tender, were forged.

“The City has obtained sworn statements from members of the BEC and is working with law enforcement authorities to investigate the matter,” Mashaba said.

He added that as a result of the seemingly criminal conduct behind the tender and the contractor’s failed performance, the City had no choice but to seek termination of the contract.

Given that the contractor is now under business rescue proceedings, the appointed business rescue practitioner agreed to the termination of the contract to avoid court action.

These types of corrupt dealings presided over by the past administration, have cost the residents of this City dearly for years. In this case, due to this corruption, the City’s ability to provide proper emergency services has been compromised.

Mashaba concluded that as the new administration, they have now begun a new process for the acquisition of fire engines that will ensure the provision of quality emergency services to residents.

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  AUTHOR
Masego Seemela
Journalist

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