1324 defects at Joburg Hospital but poor repair process

The Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital has 1324 identified building defects, but repair companies are chosen from a next-in-line approved list rather than a tender for each project.

This is revealed by Infrastructure Development MEC Jacob Mamabolo in a written reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.

According to Mamabolo: “In 2013, the DID went out on an open tender process to invite service providers with CIDB Grading 3 and 4 for all maintenance services, for a period of three years …. these Term Contracts provide for prices, fees, staff rates (as well as expenses) which fully cover the required good, services and/or works. The Department …. makes appointments of the contractors, on a next-in-line/rotational basis, from the panel of approved contractors.”

Mamabolo says that Thandzanani Trading Enterprise, the company responsible for the disastrous roof collapse at the hospital on 2 March this year, was appointed “because they were the next-in-line from the panel of approved maintenance term contractors.”

The poor choice of this company shows the defects of the process to choose companies to repair the defects at this hospital.

This is probably why R185 million has been spent on repairs and maintenance of the hospital over the past four years, but there are still roof leaks in many places. Patients can’t use the baths and showers in some wards because the water leaks into other wards.

The R3.5 million roof repair contract that Thandzanani got should have gone out on open tender, rather than next-in-line on a dubious list.

Future contracts should all go out on competitive tender to ensure value for money and competence to do the job.