DA believes rural learners are victims of Free State government’s poor tender management

Photos taken during a DA site visit to Breda Farm School outside Fouriesburg in August 2019 with DA Dihlabeng Councillor, Jafta Mokoena | Image: Supplied

The party based this on two separate site visits to inspect the progress of construction work at Breda Farm School outside Fouriesburg.

Following two separate site visits to Breda Farm School outside Fouriesburg by representatives from the Democratic Alliance in the area, the party has concluded that the school’s leaners will experience delays in accommodation due to poor tender administration.

“According to replies to DA questions in the legislature to MEC for education Tate Makgoe, R5,175,685.87 or 7.3% of the R71,126,721.23 contract had been paid out to GT Molefe Construction between March and July 2019 for only earthworks, civil works, and site establishment,” read part of a statement issued by the party.

“The MEC indicated that the department of public works and infrastructure are acting as the implementing agent on the project,” added the party.

Free State legislature DA leader Roy Jankielsohn explained how, during a site visit in August 2019 with DA Dihlabeng Councillor Jafta Mokoena, they found that only some very basic earthworks in the form of ditches and ground clearing had taken place.

DA Dihlabeng Councillor Jafta Mokoena and Free State legislature DA leader Roy Jankielsohn during a DA site visit to Breda Farm School outside Fouriesburg in August 2019 | Image: Supplied

“According to the MEC’s explanation, Molefe Construction sub-contracted some of the earthworks to Lemac Construction, who in turn hired machinery from L & L Plant Hire to execute the service which led to a dispute between the main contractor and the sub-contractor. There is no explanation why more than R5 million was paid out whilst the dispute delayed the physical work.

“Yesterday we again visited the project and found that some progress has taken place in the form of brickwork on walls. The signage indicates that the new contractor is Phetogo Consulting.”

DA site visit to Breda Farm School outside Fouriesburg in August 2019 | Image: Supplied

The party has since vowed to submit further questions in the legislature to find out why more than R5 million was paid to a contractor by the department of public works and infrastructure with no visible progress due to the dispute.

“It is sad that children in rural areas are victims of poor financial and tender management by the provincial government, and the much-needed learner accommodation is delayed because of this. This has become a norm in the Free State where tenders are allocated without ensuring that contractors are able to do the work, and provincial funds are paid out without ensuring value for money,” concluded the DA.

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