Patriotic Alliance asks for investigation of W Cape tenders

Housing projects were among the halted development contracts. (Madelene Cronje, M&G)

Housing projects were among the halted development contracts. (Madelene Cronje, M&G)

The Patriotic Alliance has asked public protector Thuli Madonsela to investigate alleged irregularities in the awarding of tenders to contractor Filcon by the City of Cape Town, the party said on Monday.

“We trust that this matter will be investigated with the same professionalism that the public protector brings to areas governed by other political parties, i.e., non-DA-led municipalities and provinces,” party president Gayton McKenzie said in a statement.

“What is of great concern is not necessarily that the DA’s administration is not as clean as many would like to believe – but that they have been able to keep it relatively quiet for so long.”

The office of the public protector was not immediately available to confirm that the request for an investigation was made.

McKenzie said the party explained to the public protector’s office that the Democratic Alliance’s image has belied years of corruption and diversion of resources that should have gone to poor communities. This came after reports over the weekend that a list of 10 separate liquidation applications against Filcon Projects had emerged.

Government projects in the Western Cape, to the value of almost R400-million, had either been cancelled, halted or left in jeopardy after the company was forced to file for business rescue, it was reported.

Necessary checks
Transport MEC Robin Carlisle has previously said the “reputable contractor” Filcon were to have been awarded the contracts after all necessary checks required by law were conducted. According to reports, the business rescue left 12 development contracts, with a value of almost R400m in limbo, affecting housing and school projects in the province.

Filcon chairperson Saul Loggenberg reportedly said he was a minority shareholder in Filcon, yet had borne the brunt of allegations against it and that all applications brought against the company were settled in 2012 and 2013. He said he was in fact owed R51m by the city.

Last week it was reported that a community activist was expected to lodge a complaint against Carlisle, who allegedly called him an “asshole” in an e-mail. Colin Arendse would lodge a complaint of misconduct with Western Cape legislature speaker Richard Majola.

According to the report, Arendse wrote to Carlisle on Saturday and accused him of illegally awarding tenders to Filcon Projects. The men exchanged several emails. Carlisle reportedly addressed Arendse: “Dear Asshole. Check the article.
I never said that. Regards.”

Arendse replied: “Your belligerent, crass and arrogant retort below is out of keeping with the oath of office that you took when being sworn in as an MPL. You are an embarrassment to our nation.” – Sapa

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