Row over tender tinged by race

Alex Matlala

Alex Matlala

A wrangle motivated by racial prejudice has erupted between the Palabora Foundation in Phalaborwa, Limpopo, and the Nafcoc youth chamber in Mopani over alleged tender irregularities.

The wrangle follows claims that the foundation had awarded a R150000 tender to a white-owned company, ignoring BEE companies with remarkable track records.

Some senior foundation officials joined communities in raising concerns after Ilanga Construction Company was offered the tender.

The tender involves paving streets in Phalaborwa and nearby Namakgale township.

Kgothatso Mashilo, chairman of the youth chamber, said : "We are very disappointed with the decision of the foundation to award the tender to Ilanga. We start questioning ourselves if the management of the foundation really know the meaning of BEE. "

Chairman of the Phalaborwa Unemployed Youth, Edmond Mbetse, claimed tenders involving 'little money' were being awarded to blacks while those involving 'fat cheques' were given to whites.

But Palabora Foundation's managing d irector Marc Demmer said t he tender was advertised and awarded to the best company with the best track record.