North West hospitals reinstate terminated coal contract

A Tembisa coal worker, 23 July 2013. Picture: Michel Bega

A Tembisa coal worker, 23 July 2013. Picture: Michel Bega

A contract with a company that supplies coal to some North West hospitals has been reinstated after the Mmabatho High Court found that it was terminated incorrectly, the health department said on Friday.

Lorato Consultant T/A Lorato Constructions argued three weeks ago that the process undertaken by the department to collect samples from the coal delivered by the company was not correct, provincial health spokesman Tebogo Lekgethwane said in a statement.

This was mainly because no company representative was present during the collection, just a company driver — who did not represent the company.

The matter was settled out of court a week later, Lekgethwane said.

He said the department would continue to conduct quality tests on the coal supplied to its hospitals and would ensure that the correct procedure was followed.

On May 29, the department said it had terminated its contract with the company because of low product quality.

“The company was contracted to supply Grade A coal, but instead delivered coal of low or inferior quality to some of the hospitals,” Lekgethwane said at the time.

This was according to test results the department had in its possession.

“The recent independent tests conducted show that coal delivered at Witrand, Klerksdorp, Tshepong, and Wolmaransstad hospitals was of low or inferior quality.”

Lekgethwane said the company had been warned previously about its non-compliance with the tender specifications and given an opportunity to rectify it. However, it had not done so.

“The service provider breached the contract for the supply of coal and the department was left with no option but to resile from [abandon] the said contract,” he said.

– Sapa

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