Lawsuit looms over award of municipal tender

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A national civil engineering company is threatening to take the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality to court, claiming it has ignored its own tender policies.

JK Structures, which recently succeeded in a R112-million lawsuit against the City of Cape Town, said it would institute a damages claim against the municipality if it did not receive the remainder of a three-year contract for repairs to and maintenance of the city’s water pipeline network.

The company said it was told it had been awarded the contract in February after the successful bidder went into financial difficulty and battled to honour its contract.

According to JK Structures owner John Klopper, the company tendered for the three-year contract in November 2014, but lost out to Bay firm Masakeni Construction.

“In the contract, we were told that if Masakeni did not deliver we would be awarded the contract,” he said.

“At the end of last year, it came to our attention that Masakeni was in debt.”

Klopper said he had then contacted municipal water and sanitation director Barry Martin.

He had later been told that JK Structures would be upgraded to main contractor.

“But nothing happened. In February I contacted Barry Martin, the supply chain director and the technical staff,” he said.

“I told them we were aware that the other company had not honoured the contract.”

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