Sebokeng drivers’ licence centre incomplete and in ruins despite R75m poured into it
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Johannesburg - Close to R75 million in taxpayers’ money has seemingly turned into wasteful expenditure at a drivers’ licence test centre (DLTC) in Sebokeng.
Inside the testing centre in the heart of the township, thorn trees and grass have mushroomed everywhere.
After removing rocks at the entrance and navigating through the tall grass in the driveway, The Star finally made it inside the testing centre.
To our surprise, two female security personnel were on site with two casually-dressed males.
After a lengthy period of negotiations and Covid-19 screening procedures, the security guards allowed us to tour the building, although the discomfort was visible on their faces.
The walls of the building are vandalised, the ceiling is falling apart and doors are broken. Some building equipment is still on site.
After going through the building, one of the security guards asked: “Are you done?”, while staring at the entrance.
She said the contractor who left the building incomplete stayed in the nearby area and monitored proceedings at the testing centre.
“Once they notice cars here they come and start a fight so we don’t want that.”
Upon further questioning, the security guards conceded that much of the equipment on site had been stolen and their job was to look after the remaining equipment.
Contacted for comment on the state of the testing centre and its completion, Gauteng Department of Public Roads and Transport spokesperson, Theo Nkonki , said: “Our sister department, Infrastructure Development (DID), is the implementing agent on this project. They should provide the necessary answers.”
A media enquiry sent to the DID on March 31 went unanswered.
The Star has since obtained legislature correspondence between the DA and Public Roads and Transport Infrastructure MEC Jacob Mamabolo on the testing station.
In a letter, Mamabolo explained the project started in the financial year 2013/14 with the appointment of a professional service provider, Pro Plan Consulting Engineers, and construction got under way in September 2015 with the appointment of Makholi Trading cc.
Mamabolo indicated the project was due to be completed in 2016 and the contractor had been appointed.
Mamabolo said during the fourth quarter of 2017/18 financial year, the contractor started experiencing cash flow challenges and was issued with a negative certificate from the principal submitting person (PSP) for overpayment.
“A formal dispute was lodged by the contractor against the DID for the negative certificate issued and a formal dispute resolution process was then activated.
“The appointed adjudicator issued an award on June 3, 2019.
“During the dispute resolution process, the contractor abandoned the site which led to the site being vandalised. The contractor was subsequently terminated in August 2019 for abandoning the site and poor performance.”
Mamabolo added the tender to complete the construction of the Sebokeng DLTC was published in March 2020 and the closing date was July 2020 due to the Covid-19.
“The evaluation was concluded and was presented to the DID bid awarding committee in December 2020.
“The tender was cancelled due to not finding a successful bidder, and the process to re-advertise has commenced. The formal communique to inform the Gauteng Department of Roads and Transport HOD is en route.”
The DA’s Kingsol Chabalala said the contractor must be blacklisted for failing to complete the project.
“The DA calls on MEC Mamabolo to ensure the tender is readvertised and the project is completed as a matter of urgency.
“This clearly indicates a lack of project management by the department as this project was not properly supervised and is one of many projects that have been abandoned by the contractors which is a total waste of taxpayers’ money.”