Embattled businessman Edwin Sodi’s companies linked to a R295 million tender to upgrade Rooiwal wastewater treatment plant could be blacklisted from doing business with the government should Tshwane municipal manager Johann Mettler have his way with the National Treasury.
This comes after Mettler announced that he submitted a request to the National Treasury to restrict from the central database of suppliers both NJR Projects and Blackhead Consulting companies, which were contracted for the Rooiwal upgrades. The two companies are linked to Sodi.
Mettler said: “At my discretion as an accounting officer and in line with the relevant legislation, I have requested the Treasury to impose restrictions on the said companies as well as their directors to prohibit them, as suppliers, from doing business with the public sector.”
He said the municipality believed the imposition was overdue, adding there were issues of legal compliance that had to be finalised before requesting the Treasury to effect the restrictions.
The request was made amid the ongoing probe by the Special Investigating Unit into allegations of maladministration and corruption in the tender awarded to the two companies.
The City terminated the contract following significant problems and delays with the quality of the work on the site due to continuous stalling of Phase 1 of the project in August 2022.
The Rooiwal upgrade project was needed to improve the capacity of the wastewater treatment works to process the large amount of waste water coming into the plant.
For more than a decade the problem of dirty water supplied to Hammanskraal residents has been attributed to lack of capacity of Rooiwal plant to purify waste water, resulting in the sludge being discharged into the Apies River.
The Apies River in turn supplied water to Temba water treatment plant, used for purifying water for the Hammanskraal residents.
Mettler said the City has entered into a partnership with the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) to secure funding to implement upgrades to Rooiwal Phase 2.
The move, he said, was to speed up service delivery and provision of clean and safe drinking water to our communities.
He said the memorandum of understanding entered into by the two institutions details the expansion, refurbishment and upgrading of waste treatment plants.
Mettler said: “Another key factor in the partnership with DBSA is its appointment as the implementing agent for the Rooiwal project. This will address delays in the project and ensure improved quality of life for our residents.”
He said the restriction of the suppliers in question was a clear indication that the City “is serious about infrastructure development in Hammanskraal, while in observance of the rules in the ongoing investigation of the Rooiwal wastewater treatment plant project by the Special Investigating Unit and the Hawks. We will continue to give our full support to the investigating agencies”.