THIS company scores more govt tenders despite R12b CONTROVERSY

The GladAfrica Group has scored a dozen Gauteng government tenders in the past five years despite the controversial cancellation of its R12 billion contract with the City of Tshwane in 2017.

This is the sentiment from Democratic Alliance (DA) shadow health MEC Jack Bloom, who said the engineering consultancy has continued to make good on lucrative deals with government departments.

Contract awarded to repair Gauteng hospital

And this is despite the irregularities which led to the revocation of a previous agreement. According to Bloom, GladAfrica’s latest contract was awarded for repair work at a large health facility in Johannesburg.

READ MORE: Gauteng health addresses Rahima Moosa Mother and Child hospital issues

A fire tore through the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital (CMJAH) in April last year. Later, a preliminary assessment revealed there was significant damage to two blocks.

At the time, Gauteng health MEC Nomathemba Mokgethi said it could take structural engineers a while to fix it. Due to the extent of the damage, the department confirmed it expects the infirmary to reopen fully in 2023.

‘Why is this company preferred over others?’

Bloom is critical of the process the department of health follows in awarding tenders. He called the contracts the department awarded to GladAfrica suspicious.

“Other contracts include consultant services for five schools and six health facilities. In May, the Tshwane council finally adopted a forensic report on the R12b project management contract irregularly awarded to GladAfrica.

“The Tshwane council had paid about R500 million to the company before terminating the contract. GladAfrica got the CMJH contract through a preferred service provider panel appointment, not an open tender process.

“The department has already approved R9.5 million for payment to them. It’s suspicious that GladAfrica gets so many lucrative contracts. But [acting infrastructure development MEC] Jacob Mamabolo says that the department has not conducted any investigation on this company.”

DA shadow health MEC Jack Bloom

Bloom added that panel appointments sidestep the open tender system, as it is unclear why the department chooses one company over others. He said irregular spending wastes money that the government should spend on public services.

“This case highlights the need to ensure strict compliance with the law, which mandates fairness, transparency, competitiveness and cost-effectiveness in awarding contracts.”

DA shadow health MEC Jack Bloom

ALSO READ: Charlotte Maxeke Hospital: Patients suffer due to food supply issues

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