Five Tshwane officials suspended over Rooiwal contract

Rooiwal wastewater treatment works in Hammanskraal. File photo.
Rooiwal wastewater treatment works in Hammanskraal. File photo.
Image: Antonio Muchave

Five senior City of Tshwane officials have been suspended in connection with the controversial Rooiwal tender.

Their suspension follows the conclusion of an internal disciplinary process which found them guilty on one of the four charges they faced. 

“The officials were charged for being grossly negligent and/derelict in the performance of their duties and that their conduct subsequently led to a breach of various legislation, policies and codes of conduct,” the city said in a statement on Saturday.

They were initially charged with:

  • Allowing Blackhead Consulting to progress to the next stage of the evaluation without being registered with the construction industry development board (CIDB) and also without having the required CIDB 9CE or 9ME;
  • Making consensus-based decisions instead of evaluating independently as members of the bid evaluation committee (BEC);
  • Including Blackhead Consulting services to “render professional services” despite the city having already appointed a company to do that. This cost the city nearly R11m and;
  • Evaluating the winning bidder on 1.4m belt presses width when the specification required 2m width

It's not clear on which charge they were found guilty but the recommended sanction was suspension for a month without pay.

The city explained that it served the five with intended letters of suspension on Wednesday and afforded them an opportunity to “make representations on why they shouldn’t be suspended”.

“A final determination was made on Friday to place them on precautionary suspension with full pay. The city strenuously disagrees with the outcome of the disciplinary process and has resolved to appeal against the entire outcome of the disciplinary process at the labour court.

“The city is of the view that their continued presence at the workplace will be detrimental to the stability of the municipality.”

The R292m tender was awarded in 2019 to ANC benefactor Edwin Sodi’s companies, NJR Projects and Blackhead Consulting, and was a joint venture with CMS Water Engineering . They did 60% of the work.

The contract was terminated due to poor performance. 

The failed Rooiwal project has possible links to the cholera outbreak in Hammanskraal, which claimed the lives of more than 20 people a few months ago.


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