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News & Press: 2019 News items

Timeline: Countdown to disaster

Saturday, 12 October 2019  
Posted by: Bert vd Heever
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09 SEPTEMBER 2019

The ASAQS expresses concern regarding late- and non-payment by national, provincial and municipal government

The Association of South African Quantity Surveyors (ASAQS) contucted a survey that showed that the majority of Quantity Surveyors experience late- or non-payment of contractors on national, provincial and municipal projects. ASAQS President Christelle Bown presented the survey findings during a panel discussion at the 2019 Master Builders Annual Congress, which was held on 9 September in Johannesburg.

“Over 140 ASAQS members participated in the survey, with the majority of respondents saying they experience late and non-payment on government projects. The Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure, Patricia de Lille, recently said that her department had paid R106-million in outstanding invoices. While this is a step in the right direction, it is still only a drop in the ocean of the R6-billion of government debt, that needs to be paid to contractors and professionals in the built environment,” says Bown.

The survey also highlighted that the Eastern Cape and Gauteng were the provinces where their members experience the most payment-related problems from government entities.

08 OCTOBER 2019

Government’s plan to get rid of pit latrines and fix mud schoolsSchool kitchen

The Eastern Cape department of education has welcomed plans by national government to get rid of pit latrines and fix mud schools in the province as announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa a few weeks ago.

City Press has been reporting about the number of schools with improper structures – most of them built of mud, sticks, asbestos and corrugated iron.

Read the complete article here

11 OCTOBER 2019

Dozens of Eastern Cape school upgrades abandoned

Algoa FM reports that:

Contractors have abandoned more than 50 major school upgrade projects in the Eastern Cape after government departments failed to pay them on time.

Many of these schools have been stripped of valuable materials and vandalised after being abandoned.

One example is Makhanda’s Grahamstown Primary School. The school moved into temporary prefabricated premises in February to make way for a R55 million upgrade. The revamp, originally due for completion in 2021, was to have included an administration block, a new library, an IT centre and a school hall, according to the school’s principal, Leon Coetzee.

Then in June, the contractors left abruptly, telling Coetzee that they had not been paid by the provincial Department of Public Works, the implementing agent for the project. This came as a complete surprise to the school, as they had not been informed by the provincial Department of Education or of Public Works that funds were not available to pay the contractors.

“Much later, after the contractor left, the [provincial education] department came and told us that the project had been stopped until further notice,” said Coetzee.

Read the complete news item here

12 OCTOBER 2019 

How much longer will taxpayers be expected to foot the bill for the disasters caused by bungling government departments? How much longer can consultants and contractors survive under these trying conditions?