Sunday World

Contractor­s furious as municipali­ty pays ‘ghost workers’ for their work

Workers threaten to damage revamped Hlohlokwe Road

- By Masoka Dube

Contractor­s who upgraded a road in Limpopo are threatenin­g to damage it because the municipali­ty has reportedly paid another company that had nothing to do with the work.

Four companies that upgraded the Hlohlokwe Road in Ga-sekororo claim that the Maruleng municipali­ty owes them more than R1-million collective­ly.

Whiskey Makwalana, the director of WH Civil Engineerin­g, who was the main contractor during the Hlohlokwe Road upgrading project that was conducted in 2018, said he was surprised when his invoice was rejected on September 11 last year on the grounds that the money had already been paid.

“We investigat­ed the matter and found that the municipali­ty’s corrupt officials paid the money to someone who was not even part of the projects and our signatuere­s have been forged. We performed the duty very well and completed it,” said Makwalana.

“When I approached the municipali­ty, I was told that the payment of about R60 000 was made for the service that we rendered.

“The agreement was that we do half of the project, they pay R600 000, and when we complete the project, they pay the balance of another R670 000.

“What is happening here is wrong because I took an overdraft of R500 000 when I was preparing for the project, now I am unable to pay back the money.

“Early this year, the municipali­ty made a proposal to settle the matter without involving other authoritie­s and I agreed, but still, they disappeare­d. On the other hand, I owe my subcontrac­tors a lot of money.”

He said subcontrac­tors were angry with him and did not believe him when he told them that the municipali­ty did not pay him.

He said they agreed with the subcontrac­tors that if the municipali­ty failed to pay, they would damage the road.

A document seen by Sunday World shows that Makwalana’s company was awarded a tender to upgrade 90 metres of the Hlohlokwe Road, of which 30 metres was completed, while other documents reveal that Makwalana’s company and his subcontrac­tors were the only companies that upgraded the road.

A subcontrac­tor who did not want to be named said he was owed more than R70 000 for the work he did on the project. “The municipal owes us. I can’t talk too much because I will be victimised.”

When contacted for comment,

Four companies claim that the Maruleng municipali­ty owes them R1m

Maruleng municipali­ty spokespers­on Soly Mahumane said: “Since he [Makwalana] decided to involve other people on the matter, we are unable to comment. It would have been better if he interacted with us without involving the third parties.

He reported the matter to the Hawks, and they were here to investigat­e, and now he also sends the media.”

Hawks spokespers­on in Limpopo Captain Matimba Maluleke confirmed the case was investigat­ed and then handed over to the provincial police. Provincial police spokespers­on Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo did not respond to questions sent to him.

 ?? /Supplied ?? Part of the upgrade to the Limpopo road for which contractor­s claim they were not paid. They are now threatenin­g to damage the road if they do not receive payment.
/Supplied Part of the upgrade to the Limpopo road for which contractor­s claim they were not paid. They are now threatenin­g to damage the road if they do not receive payment.

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