Michele du Plessis
The Sabie Ratepayers Association gave feedback regarding the IDP Meeting held on October 18th, 2018, which followed the postponed meeting on 11th October.
“The dismal attendance at the meeting on the 18th tends to demonstrate how little trust the community has in the process. Only one of the four officials, Mr Kemmy Mashego did attend, but left halfway through the meeting with no reason given. At the start of the meeting, I raised two points; the only official present (Mr K Mashego) is on the list of municipal officials who is (or should be) under investigation following the forensic audit report.
A second official (who was absent from the meeting), Mr S Manqele is also named in the report. Of the officials in the various IDP “Teams”, four are named in the forensic audit report as being involved in corrupt and/or fraudulent activities. This brings the credibility of the IDP process into question,” Captain Gwilym Rees, Chairman of the Sabie Ratepayers Association said.
“I advised the meeting that I wished to table 29 comments and queries relating to the Annual Performance Report on Projects for 2017/18 and mentioned that the points have been sent to the Municipal Manager and to the Councillor for their attention and response. Of those points, 11 relate to reports that are apparently incorrect,” Captain Rees said.
The following was taken from the TCLM Annual Performance Report 2017/18, the comments and queries raised by the SRA, the TCLM Tender Register 2017-2018 Financial Year 1, the TCLM Final IDP 2017-2022 Term and the Thaba Chweu Local Municipality Mid-Year Budget and Performance Assessment Report, 19 January 2018.
Refurbishment Sabie Wastewater Treatment plant:
The projected completion date for refurbishment was June 30th, 2018 at a cost of R3 375 000. Unfortunately, TCLM did not reach the intended target, even though the contractor was on site. According to the Tender Register, the contract was awarded to Bo-Mamohlala Projects and the cost was R3 014 114.40. Also, on the Tender Register 2017-2018: Provision for professional services for the Sabie Waste Treatment Works Refurbishment, awarded to Isiphepho Consulting Engineers at a cost of R296 870.60.
Questions that Captain Gwilym Rees, Chairman of the Sabie Ratepayers Association asked: “Why has this not been completed and what the payment status of this project was.” It is noteworthy that a Report from 2010 said: “The Sabie sewerage works (at the source and treatment plant) is also not operating properly (Henman-Weir & Diedericks 2010). The towns of Sabie, Simile and Harmony Hill also have a negative effect on environmental health due to poor management. (IUCMA Report, 2012).”
Water link – Pipelines Sabie Ext 10 and York Sawmill Crossing:
The new pipeline (0.8km) installed at Sabie Ext 10 by June 30th, 2018. Target achieved at R5 121 000. SRA said: “There have been leaks on the new pipeline not attended to by the contractor. Repairs were undertaken by TCLM after water leaked continuously in excess of ten days. What penalty was imposed on the contractor? Was the contractor billed for the water loss (est. > 1, 5 million litres)?” According to the Tender Register 2017-2018, the tender for this water link was awarded to MJ Mthombeni Construction and the cost was R4 034 847.60.
Upgrading Sabie/Simile Pump Station and Installation of pipelines in Harmony Hill and Simile:
According to the Report on Projects for 2017/18FY, the target was achieved. “One (1) pump station upgraded at Harmony Hill, Sabie and Simile and 0.45km pipelines installed (sic).” According to the SRA’S knowledge, this is incorrect. New pump station at Simile was established (together with associated pipeline). The pipeline was an incorrect specification. Who changed it and why? What action taken against the party responsible? No refurbishment of the Main pump station has been completed. Sabie remains in a critical situation whereby if the main pump fails, there is no backup. This pump is in a dilapidated state and failure is imminent.
Electricity connection of households in Sabie Ext 10:
Target achieved. 100 Households electrified and energized at Sabie Ext 10. Cost: R1 400 000. According to the Tender Register, the tender was awarded to Masebendza Avuke Trading and the cost: R1 205 070.30. The SRA said that this appears to be incorrect. “The electrical connections were not in place at 30th June 2018. Due to the delay in allocating houses, the houses have been stripped before occupation. What is the budget to re-establish electricity to the houses? What is the timeline to achieve the re-establishment?”
These are only three of the 29 points that Captain Rees tabled. Captain Rees also mentioned that the points have been sent to the Municipal Manager and to the Councillor for their attention and response.