Sub-contracting risks

A Johannesburg sub-contractor, Mandlenkosi Maphosa, is battling to recover R55500 from Coalition Trading.

A Johannesburg sub-contractor, Mandlenkosi Maphosa, is battling to recover R55500 from Coalition Trading.

Sowetan discovered that other small businesses, involved in tiling, plumbing and kitchen units, were also battling to get money from this company.

The sub-contractors claim that Piet Smith, of Coalition, built houses for clients, was paid by them, but did not pay his sub-contractors.

When Maphosa asked Smith for payment Smith referred him to his clients.

"But when I approached them I discovered their banks had paid Smith the whole contract amount, including for the work I had done."

Smith said: "I could not pay Maphosa because the clients did not pay me for the extra work he did."

But all four clients told Consumer Line that their banks had paid Smith what was due to him, including the sub-contractors' money.

"Besides Maphosa, a tiler, a plumber and a carpenter demanded money from me until I showed them proof that my bank had paid Smith for the whole contract," said a client, who did not want to be identified.

Smith later told Consumer Line he needed to go through his clients' files.

"I will call you after seven days. I will sue if you publish anything bad about my company," threatened Smith.

l Maphosa is also trying to recover R11183 from Callnet Solutions, based in Cape Town. He repaired air-conditioners at the company's Midrand office.

"For the past six months I have faxed documents so that they can pay me," said Maphosa.

Callnet Solutions acknowledged the debt to Maphosa, but has not paid him.

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