ActionSA commends Tshwane metro on suspension of five officials involved in Rooiwal tender

ROOIWAL Wastewater Treatment Works and Klipdrift Package Plant in Hammanskraal. | Oupa Mokoena Independent Newspapers

ROOIWAL Wastewater Treatment Works and Klipdrift Package Plant in Hammanskraal. | Oupa Mokoena Independent Newspapers

Published Apr 21, 2024


AS THE City of Tshwane awaits action by the National Treasury on blacklisting businessman Edwin Sodi’s company, Blackhead Consulting, it has been commended by political parties for forging ahead with rooting out corruption by suspending five municipal officials.

The City was commended by ActionSA following the decision by city manager Johann Mettler to charge five municipal officials involved in awarding the Rooiwal tender to Blackhead Consulting Services.

According to a statement released on Saturday by the City, the officials were charged with being grossly negligent and or/derelict in the performance of their duties, their conduct subsequently leading to a breach of various legislation, policies and codes of conduct.

During the year-long disciplinary process, the five employees were initially charged with allowing Sodi’s company to progress to the next stage of the evaluation without being registered with the Construction Industry Development Board and without having the required certification.

They were also found to have made consensus-based decisions instead of evaluating independently as members of the bid evaluation committee, and appointing the company to render professional services despite the City having already appointed a company to do that ‒ a decision which ultimately cost the municipality nearly R11 million.

The last charge was for evaluating the winning bidder on 1.4m width belt presses, when the specification required a width of 2m..

The R292m tender was awarded in 2019 to ANC benefactor Edwin Sodi’s companies, NJR Projects and Blackhead Consulting, and was a joint venture with CMS Water Engineering .

During the course of the tender, the company did 60% of the work; however, the contract was terminated as a result of poor performance.

The failed Rooiwal project has some sectors believing it was linked to the cholera outbreak in Hammanskraal, which claimed the lives of 29 people.

Action SA’s Jackie Mathabathe, in commending the City for the decision, said this move signified a crucial step towards holding those responsible for the irregularities in the Rooiwal tender accountable.

The party’s Tshwane caucus leader said the decision was especially commendable given that the party had been persistent in seeking justice for this matter, including submitting a motion for a forensic investigation and providing the findings to the Special Investigating Unit for further scrutiny.

“The suspension of these officials comes at a crucial time, just a week after the launch of the Klipdrift Package Plant and the ongoing upgrades to the Rooiwal water treatment plant. These projects are vital in ensuring the provision of clean water to the community of Hamaanskraal.

“The dedication of the City of Tshwane in addressing the water challenges faced by the community is commendable, and we remain committed to seeing this through. As we await the outcomes of the investigation, ActionSA stands firm in its promise to bring those responsible for any misconduct to justice. We are resolute in fighting corruption and upholding transparency in governance for the betterment of our communities,” Mathabathe added.

On February 1, the City of Tshwane requested that the National Treasury list Blackhead Consulting as a restricted supplier.