The Gauteng Provincial Government has instituted disciplinary proceedings against five officials in the Department of Roads and Transport following the termination of the Lubbe contract, which was recently found to have been irregularly awarded.
The suspended officials include the department’s HOD, Ronald Schwartz, who has been placed on special leave.
“The officials face disciplinary action in relation to the contract awarded to Lubbe Construction in 2015 for the K46 road construction project,” the Premier’s office said in a statement.
The company was to construct the stalled K46 (William Nicol Drive), which runs along Diepsloot to the N14 freeway.
The contract, signed in November 2015, stipulated that the project was to have been completed in September 2017. However, the road works have seen endless delays.
The contract with Lubbe Construction was extended on two more occasions, with the company failing to complete the project within stipulated timeframes. In addition, the company had not maintained a valid performance guarantee for the project since November 2017.
The recommendation to suspend the five came after an investigation conducted by Provincial Treasury, at the request of Premier David Makhura, revealed serious irregularities in the awarding of the contract.
“The contract has since been terminated and a new tender will be initiated through the Open Tender system,” Makhura’s office said.
Makhura said the provincial government regards poor management by officials of infrastructure projects and dismal performance by contractors as “a serious matter”.
“As such, support from the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has been enlisted to recover funds that were allegedly overpaid to the contractor,” he said.
The Gauteng Provincial Government acknowledged that the delay in the completion of the project has caused inconvenience to road users, residents and the business community in the area