Former MEC Semenya must account for inflated costs of Mastec College in Polokwane

Desiree van der Walt MPL

DA Limpopo Spokesperson on SCOPA

The renovation of Mastec College outside of Polokwane is a clear example of government tender projects in Limpopo used to enrich those involved. This came to light during the latest probe by the Public Accounts Committee’s into the Public Works Department.

This project initially started on 17 November 2007, with the contemplated period of completion being on the 27 March 2009. The original tender amount was R9.2 million. However during the lifespan of this project, there have been two variation orders in order to increase the amount of the original tender.

The first initial order to increase the original amount was done on 25 January 2008. The variation order was to the tune of over R3 million, a 33.6% increment from the original amount. The stated reasons for this were to add new offices and alterations.

Hardly 5 months into 2008, in July to be exact, another variation order was made, this time doubling the original amount of the contract to over R16 million. This time the purported reasons were to add mobile offices.  Another R1.8 million was added for the sewage reticulation.

For the original amount of the tender contract of R9.2 million, the figure allowed by law to increase the original costs is R1.8 million. This was not the case with the building of the Mastec College project.

Moreover all these variations order could no longer be classified as such but were totally new tender contracts excluding the original bidders.

A visit to this college shows an abandoned place in its current form, an utter waste of the paying public of Limpopo.

All these variation orders were done when Ms. Rosina Semenya, who is still a member of the provincial Legislature, was the MEC of Public Works.  Ms. Semenya is still with the provincial government and should be called to account for exactly what had transpired under her watch.

In order to get to the bottom of this, I will be writing to SCOPA chairperson Mr. Derrick Ngobeni to suggest to him the summonsing of Ms. Semenya to account for this situation.