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CAPE TOWN - The Coega Development Corporation (CDC) is suing the Eastern Cape Department of Health (ECDoH) for R149 million in outstanding fees, for work it has done for Bhiso. 

This follows an arduous 2 year dispute between the CDC and ECDoH. The dispute has led infrastructure planning and development of the projects to come to a halt. 

Added to the outstanding fees is the claim that the ECDoH’s Chief Director of Infrastructure, Mlamli Tuswa, has been implicated in allegations of corruption. Tuswa was implicated in corruption with a former CDC Senior employee. 

"The impasse has led to the CDC being denied permission to continue with projects awarded to the organisation, such as the building of Community Health Centres. This has negatively impacted on communities who are in urgent need of these services as these projects are therefore not likely to be completed this financial year", says Coega.

THE CDC says that they tried to resolve the matter amicably within the prescript of Intergovernmental Relations Act. Regular held discussions were held with government departments and Provincial Portfolio Committees but to no avail. 

"The CDC lawyers have issued a Letter of Demand with the ECDOH and in compliance with the Institution of Legal Proceedings Against Certain Organs of State Act No 40 of 2002 with the view to exhaust the 60 day period necessitated by the Act. Once this period has been exhausted the CDC will submit the necessary papers for the recovery of the amount owing with the courts", says Coega. 

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The CDC adds that they have experienced abusive management style. As a result, they have changed five programme directors on the ECDoH programme in the last few years. 

During the investigation against the former CDC employee, further allegations surfaced against Tuswa which has been reported to the South African Police Services - Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) for further investigation.

"The CDC has received requests at the last minute with the sole intention to unduly privilege certain Professional Service Providers without due processes followed", adds Coega.

Despite this, Coega says that they remain optimistic that the R150 million will be recovered. 

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