South Africa: call to cancel US$ 82 million sanitation contract

A parliamentary committee wants to cancel a 550 million Rand (US$ 81.7 million) rural sanitation contract with an NGO for its failure to deliver services on time. The ministers of Public Works and of Human Settlements want to give the NGO, Independent Development Trust, a second chance.

The parliament’s human settlements portfolio committee wants to cancel the second and third phases of the Trust’s contract to build pit and flushing toilets in 25 rural municipalities. The Independent Development Trust was to have completed the first phase of its three-year contract, worth 100 million Rand (US$ 14.8 million) in April 2011, but it only spent 46 million Rand ((US$ 6.8 million) on 8368 pit toilets – a third of which were delivered after the deadline.

The committee plans to table a report in parliament calling for Public Works Minister Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde to cancel the rest of the contract. Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale pleaded with the committee to give the development trust more time and not to hand the contract over to the private sector.

However, MPs told Sexwale that they had been trying for 10 months to get the trust to deliver and tender documents indicated that it had no experience in sanitation and should not have been given the contract..

Source: Anna Majavu, Times Live, 27 Jun 2011

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