Friday, August 10, 2012

Don’t reinvent the wheel, fix the old one!


Those of you who follow our forum posts would possibly have seen the Business Report article we recently uploaded titled ‘R50bn bill follows poor housing workmanship’. The gist of it is, it will take R50bn to repair substandard low cost housing and Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale, believes this is forcing government's hand towards implementing a state-owned construction company.

Sexwale, speaking at a construction sector breakfast last Thursday, made it known that while a decision had not yet been taken on establishing such a company, he is calling for a debate on the issue.

A big part of that debate has to be why it is that tenders are being awarded to individuals or organisations that aren't delivering a quality product.

It has been well publicised in the media that certain well connected individuals who own businesses like Laundromats, have been awarded massive tenders for low cost housing developments. We also know that the forensic report on fraud and corruption within the eThekwini municipality found that 10 councillors have had interests in organisations that conducted business with eThekwini Municipality.

The current policy of putting state construction work out to tender is extremely fair to all, it does however require that the state be extremely proficient, at appointing capable contractors. The focus should be on rooting out corruption and making sure that tenders are awarded fairly to organisations with a proven track record and the capacity to deliver. Don’t reinvent the wheel, fix the old one!

Ernest Roper
Durban Regional Manager 

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