Collapsed Tongaat mall construction group awarded R101m tender

Gralio Precast, the company responsible for the construction of the Tongaat mall, which collapsed on Tuesday near Durban, killing one person and injuring 29 others, has been awarded another R101-million tender on Thursday. This time, the tender is for the construction of RDP houses in the eThekwini municipality.

Democratic Alliance eThekwini caucus leader Zwakele Mncwango said this was revealed on Thursday during a finance and procurement meeting in the eThekwini city council.

He said Gralio Precast has benefited repeatedly from large tenders, despite shoddy workmanship.

"This is highly questionable. eThekwini must cancel these tenders, and all government entities must blacklist Gralio immediately.

"Gralio has a history of shoddy workmanship. The Manase report, the department of housing and the National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC) have all chastised this company for poor workmanship in recent years for various government housing contracts. In fact, the Manase report and the NHBRC have both called for Gralio to be investigated," he said.

Gralio review
Mncwango wrote to eThekwini municipal manager on Thursday calling for a review of Gralio’s contracts.

"We will furthermore approach treasury with this information to request that national government blacklist Gralio across the country.

"It is simply unacceptable that Gralio continues to land multi-million rand contracts from the city when they have a long history of shoddy workmanship; the latest of which has resulted in deaths and injuries.

Mncwango wrote in his letter, "I am calling on you to urgently review this contract; as well as any other contracts Gralio has been granted by eThekwini. Two extension are for Hammonds Farm project and Cornubia and I believe you should stop such extensions immediately and follow normal tender processes.  

"Please demonstrate that you care for the lives of those who may fall victim to buildings constructed by this company in the future by acting on the issues outlined above."

Gralio Precast and the eThekwini municipal manager could not be reached at the time of publishing.

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Sarah Evans
Sarah Evans

Sarah Evans interned at the Diamond Fields Advertiser in Kimberley for three years before completing an internship at the Mail & Guardian Centre for Investigative Journalism (amaBhungane). She went on to work as a Mail & Guardian news reporter with areas of interest including crime, law, governance and the nexus between business and politics. 

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