City of Cape Town vows to defend contractual dispute over desalination plant
“It must be understood clearly that the city did not institute court proceedings, it was QFS,” the City of Cape Town Council said.
Mayoral committee member for water and waste services Xanthea Limberg said the city council did not intend to litigate through the media, but it was understood the two parties were in meetings trying to negotiate an out of court settlement. Last month, QFS lodged court papers in the Western Cape High Court.
QFS was contracted last year to provide one of three desalination plants to provide fresh drinking water.
The company then entered into mediation with the city council for five days. No consensus was reached.
The mediation process ended in April. According to the company, the city council was now blocking the mediation report from being made public. According to reports, the plant could not produce desalinated water at times due to turbidity and algae blooms, which were natural occurrences.
Turbidity refers to the degree to which water loses its transparency due to the presence of suspected particles.
The plant began producing water at the end of May last year. The plant has been dormant since January. QFS is suing the city council for R53million with the additional costs. The city council however disputes the current amounts being claimed.
Managing director of QFS Herman Smit said QFS spent its own R37m on a plant at the V&A Waterfront, responding on the request from the city for assistance during Day Zero.@MarvinCharles17