Meanwhile, Phiri denied allegations that he could not pay Khato Civils’ subcontractors working on a R2.2 billion water project in Limpopo’s Mopani district because he was importing money to Botswana.
His subcontractors claimed last week that Phiri owed them about R25 million. Phiri blamed the Lepelle Water Board for not paying his company about R250 million.
He said that Lepelle’s chief executive officer, Phineas Legodi, exacerbated the problem when he paid R44 million from the department of water affairs to LTE Consulting, which is a lead consultant in the Giyani project. That money was not paid to Khato Civils.
“For the first time”, said Phiri, “Lepelle paid the whole amount to LTE.
“People are beginning to link the Botswana story with this one. In Botswana, the issue is R10 million and if I had to bring that money back here, it would not be enough to pay the contractors.
“That money has been in Botswana for over a year and can’t be linked to the Giyan i project,” Phiri argued.
Legodi conceded that invoices were paid “as per availability of funds” instead of through agreed time frames for work delivered.