Cape Point road upgrade delayed

The planned completion date for the Cape Point road upgrade has been delayed due to contractual issues.

Regional communications manager for the Cape region of SANParks, Merle Collins, said they had terminated the previously awarded contract due to a lack of due diligence, and will now put the job out on a new revised tender.

“This process is unfortunately a lengthy one and work should recommence on the road in the new financial year,” she said.

However, there is strong disagreement on the details of the contract and the manner of its dissolution, and there is still an outstanding arbitration process yet to be completed.

Omar Fortune, spokesperson for Q-Civils Construction, the company employed to repair the road, referred the False Bay Echo to his attorney Ludolph Joubert.

While SANParks said the contract was terminated due to lack of work done, the company said they ceased work because they had not been paid.

“Q-Civils entered into a contract with the Parks board after it tendered for a contract for road rehabilitation of 5.1 to
8.3 km located located in the Table Mountain Reserve. The tender that was accepted was for the rehabilitation of the road subject to certain conditions as stipulated in the tender documents,” said Mr Jou-
bert.

“The Q-Civils tender was accepted and the contract price was R 10 876 706.10. One of the conditions was that the material of two of the old sub-layers would be used to lay the lower layer in preparation of the road.

The condition to use the old material was a decision made by SANParks,” he said.

The work began on September 15, 2015 and when Q-Civils arrived on site, it was discovered that the existing material could not be used.

“Due to the difficulties in the contract it became clear in November 2015 that the scope of the contract changed,” Mr Joubert said.

“It was clear that the measurements on which the tender was based, (were) incorrect and had to be rectified. Several meetings were held during 2016 to solve the problems,” he said.

A dispute arose as to the interpretation of material “on site” and the claim by the contractor to adjust the contract price due to them having to transport new material for the sub-layer from outside the park, resulted in the matter being referred to arbitration.

Mr Joubert said that during the period of construction, and due to time extensions, the completion date was then amended.

He said this, however, also became a dispute and the extension of the completion date is to be decided through the arbitration process.

Ms Collins said Q-Civils Construction was appointed to rehabilitate the tar road between the Buffelsfontein Visitor Centre (BVC) and the Rooikraans Circle.

The work included the reconstruction of the two top layers, new seal, subsoil drainage, storm water drainage and the fill slope repair near the visitor centre.

The appointment, Ms Collins said, was for R10 million and the works completed amounted to
R4.5 million.

“The contractor only executed work on 2 kilometres instead of 8km of which he completed
the one side, and partially completed the other side,” she explained.

She said the contract was terminated in April 2017 due to the contractor’s failure to execute the work with due diligence.

“The process of terminating the contract was a very tedious and time consuming process.

There are new National Treasury regulations for tendering and SANParks is currently busy with the new tendering process, which will insure that the road will be completed to set standards,” she explained.

She said there was currently a maintenance contract in place to monitor and maintain the road.

Mr Joubert said that 2km of the one side

of the road was completed and approximately 1km on the other side was completed.

“The quantity surveyor calculated the work done and a meeting was held to agree to termination
of the contract due to the dis-
putes.

The Parks board was requested to appoint an arbitrator to adjudicate the matter,” he said.

“Until date hereof no arbitrator was appointed and it is our view that, to speculate on the outcome of the arbitration, would be very risky,” he said.

“I may just add that several advocates and civil engin-
eers gave different views and clearly this is a matter that will
not be resolved without arbi-
tration.

“Our instructions are to again address a letter to the employer to appoint an arbitrator to have the matter resolved. “Thecontractoris oftheviewthatthere
is still an amount due to it, while the Parks board is of the opinion that it overpaid the con-
tractor.”

Ms Collins added that an engineer would be tasked with the development of an interim plan on how best to keep the road functional and that SANParks would like to acknowledge the patience displayed through this process by those who use the road regu-
larly.

“We extend our apologies to those inconvenienced by this delay,” she said.