SDM council opposition lambasts hospital water supply tender renewal

JANE FURSE – Sekhukhune District Municipality (SDM)’s council’s resolution to extend the R20 million worth water supply contract to the Jane Furse Hospital was received with condemnation by opposition parties represented in the district council.

According to the opposition parties, SDM special council meeting held on 10 September 2020, renewed the lapsed contract for provisioning of water to the hospital for a six month period, worth R20 million, which could be saved or used for other needs and services in the district.

The Bolsheviks Party of South Africa (BPSA), an opposition in the district council, said the council had shown a total disregard to input and advice against the renewal of the contract worth R20 million, involving four water trucks, for a six months period.

Seun Mogotji, BPSA leader, said the party therefore issued the district municipality a seven day period to respond and clarify how it came to the conclusion of ignoring calls not to renew the contract.

Mogotj said failure by the district municipality to respond, they would be left with no option but to approach the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to investigate the issue and find out if the service provider had any links to the council, and how it may have influenced council’s decision to go against reason and logic.

Willy Mosoma, SDM Spokesperson, confirmed that the district council has taken a resolution to extend the Jane Furse Hospital water supply tender by six months.

Mosoma said as part of the resolution, council wanted consequence management applied and that was in relation to the non-renewal of the contract on time.

Further, Mosoma said that the district council instructed that a borehole be drilled to supply water to the hospital.

“We are a water service authority and such key points like hospitals are our major focus points. The current tender is a temporary measure. In the long term, we are awaiting the commission of water from De Hoop Dam, the responsibility which SDM gave to Lepelle Northern Water. We hope that shortage of water in Jane Furse area, including the hospital, will be a thing of the past soon,” said Mosoma.

Solomon Maila, Democratic Alliance (DA) caucus leader at SDM, said their view was that the water supply contract to the Jane Furse Hospital ought to have been advertised long before it lapsed, on31 August 2020.

Maila said it was deliberately allowed to lapse so that the matter was brought to council as an emergency given that the hospital could not go without water, especially during the COVID-19 era.

He added that they were further of the view that the R4.2 million monthly cost of the contract is exceedingly exorbitant.

“It boggles the mind that there is no evidence that the Department of Health is reimbursing the SDM for the water supply to the hospital,” said Maila.

He concluded that they insisted as a party that the extension of the contract ought to be investigated and that all officials responsible for the failure to advertise the tender before its lapsing ought to be charged.

Thapelo Motseo

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