Most of the projects are expected to resume during the current financial year, City of Johannesburg development planning MMC Belinda Echeozonjoku has assured the public. She expressed concern at the project delays and poor quality of work from some of the contractors, highlighting the negative impact this has had on communities.
“Non-performing contractors not only cause unnecessary delays to much-needed community projects, but also hinder people the opportunity to enjoy basic services. I have been consistent in calling for contractors that fail to deliver projects on time and hold the city to ransom to have their contracts terminated,” she says. The total value of the contracts terminated is close to R244-million. About R88.5-million of that has already been spent by the contractors.
During an oversight visit to Diepsloot and Blairgowrie to inspect projects that have been delayed owing to poor-performing contractors, Echeozonjoku saw the “shocking poor quality” of some of the workmanship. These projects are supposed to assist the city in getting the basics right, provide good road infrastructure, access to open spaces and access to healthcare facilities.
“The termination of these contracts also shows a major improvement in oversight and the JDA’s commitment to [being] a well-run Joburg,” says Echeozonjoku.
Further, she reiterates her support for the new JDA board and senior management on the work they are undertaking to turn the entity around. “Most of the issues at the JDA are caused by the lack of planning and organisational constraints. However, I am happy that the new board, acting CEO and senior management are aware of the problems at the entity and are putting systems in place to deal with such problems,” she adds.
The management team at the JDA has introduced more stringent due diligence processes around the appointment of contractors, making it compulsory for each recommended contractor to submit certain documents and confirm liquidity before an award is made.
JDA acting CEO Siyabonga Genu says the JDA has been going through instability in the recent past, which negatively impacted on its performance but management is confident that things are changing for the better. “We have developed a consolidated procurement plan that is being tracked weekly by myself, as the acting CEO. We have also started talking about a long-term plan to introduce an e-tender process to create efficiencies and transparency.
“The planning for the next financial year has already started and we are optimistic that the current interventions will be evident,” he adds.