Solving Ashton-Montagu construction standstill
I REFER TO Roy Cokayne’s article in Business Report 1 June 1, 2017, headed “Basil Read CEO quits after earnings plunge”, and wish to comment as follows.
I am a resident in Long Street, Montagu, on the R62 road through the town, and like all other local business owners and residents along this historic route have observed with concern the delays in the progression of this major project over the last year.
I need also to add my opinion that Basil Read has been going through much abnormal financial stress in recent years.
This apparently requires re-capitalisation to continue in their business – as manifest by the report that the company “has been in discussions since July last year about the potential private placement that is said would result in the company becoming a black owned company”.
The purpose of my letter is to draw attention to my firm belief that the Ashton/ Montagu communities of farmers, businesses and residents need to start now to initiate a process to avoid what otherwise looks like a protracted performance to reach the completion of:
(a) The construction of the three large bridges that are required for the project, and
(b) The final construction and surfacing of the road works from Ashton through to Cogmans Kloof and Long Street in Montagu.
What I believe would be helpful is that if a new consortium, which doubtless needs to include Basil Read, should combine with another reputable civil engineering firm whose capabilities perhaps go beyond just road construction.
This combination could then take over and complete all aspects of this complex contract/project.
To conclude, because this contract is a government responsibility, the initiative of such a process for intervention and change needs to be in the hands of the appropriate Western Cape Government Department, being The Department of Transport and Public Works led by Minister Donald Grant.