Trust accuses sub-contractors of being greedy

THE Bakgaga Community Trust has accused 21 sub-contractors who claim they have not been paid for work done at the Maake shopping complex at Rita of being greedy.

Last month, the sub-contractors accused the trustees of not having paid them eight months after the construction of the mall, outside Tzaneen, was completed.

Spokesperson for the trustees George Ramodike said the sub-contractors had employed workers and that they were paid for the work that they had done.

Ramodike said that in terms of an agreement with the developer, the sub-contractors were paid R10000 each.

"They were informed about the whole arrangement by the developer and they agreed in principle that they would only be paid for their company certificates, while remuneration would be paid to the workers," Ramodike said.

Last month, the contractors said they were employed by the Bakgaga Community Trust and the Bakgaga Traditional Authority with instruction of a developer, McCormick, who was awarded the tender to build the shopping complex.

Construction for the shopping mall, which houses 70 shops, was completed in October 2008.

Ramodike explained that the sub-contractors staged sit-ins outside the offices of the traditional authority every time they saw members of the board of trustees holding a meeting.

He claims that there was no money to pay the sub-contractors and he advised them to be satisfied with what they had received.

The sub-contractors claimed some of them owed money to hardware stores for building materials and were struggling to pay because of the alleged non-payment.

The meeting, which was planned last week to discuss the issue, was called off after trust members and royal council members failed to turn up.

A discussion is under way in which the contractors plan to take legal action in order to secure the payment that they believe is due to them.