The DA in eThekwini is gravely concerned about the awarding of a R42 million Durban Solid Waste (DSW) tender to Amadelangokubona Business Forum contractors, renowned for taking tenders unlawfully.
During a Finance, Security and Emergency Services (FSES) committee meeting last week, the DA urged the city not to bow to the pressure of contractors that want to forcefully secure tenders by using all resources available to remove them from the city’s procurement system.
This came after the city announced the awarding of a three-month Durban Solid Waste (DSW) contract to four different companies, that form part of the Amadelangokubona Business Forum, for refuse collection across 49 wards, at a whopping R42 million.
During this meeting it was further revealed that the awarded contractors are in fact getting extensions.
DSW has been a playing ground for “contractors” in eThekwini for over four years now. In 2018 one contractor was given a tender to collect refuse in Umlazi township for R208 million and subcontracted other contractors but failed to pay them for more than three months. As a result, there was no refuse collection in the township and in July 2019 the city took a decision to insource the collection of refuse in this township.
Again, in 2020 February, city employees were threatened by a contractor who demanded contracts from the city to collect the refuse and the city gave in. Since 2020, they have been in place.
DSW tenders must be public and should not be reserved for certain companies. Allocating tenders to certain companies without following the due process is a violation of the MFMA and is a prejudice to other contractors in their wishes to trade with the city.
These notorious contractors are not only affecting the government but also the private sector. A developer had to stop a project developing apartments near bridge city in KwaMashu due to demands from these contractors.
After many years of rapacious embezzling of public funds, flouting Supply Chain Management (SCM) policies, the ANC have no leg to stand on when it comes to fighting notorious contractors.
It cannot be business as usual when lives and livelihoods are on the line. It is time for Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda and the ANC government to come out of hiding and put the interests of residents first.