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THE council of the Molemole municipality in Limpopo has instituted legal proceedings to recover R1,7million from a contractor who failed to complete new municipal buildings.
Construction of the offices started towards the end of 2006 but the contractor allegedly disappeared before completing the job.
This was allegedly despite the fact that the contractor was paid an amount of R1,7million.
The technical manager at the municipality, who was allegedly responsible for awarding the contract for the construction of the building, Eric Delekisa, also allegedly resigned after realising that things were not going right on the project.
Municipal spokesperson Timothy Molopa confirmed yesterday that the municipality was taking legal action against the company to recover the money.
He said the total budget for the construction of the building was R6million.
"It is true that we have taken the matter up with our lawyers to ensure that we recover the money paid to the contractor, who failed to complete the project," Molopa said.
He identified the company as Bakgalaka Construction, owned by Peter Sathekge.
But Molopa, declined to disclose the amount they were suing for.
"We hope that by suing the company we will be teaching other companies a lesson that it is unacceptable to leave projects incomplete while claiming payment," he said.
Approached for comment yesterday, Sathekge said he was the one who was suing the municipality instead.
He confirmed he had stopped working on the building because he was not given a contract.
"Each time I approached senior officials at the municipality to get a contract I was given the run-around," he said.
Sathekge said he was only paid R400000 since he started and he could not carry on construction while he had no contract.
But Molopa was adamant that the municipality did not owe the company and said the opposite was true.
According to Sathekge, the building was almost complete but they could not proceed without a contract.