30 October 2020 - NW2159
Graham, Ms SJ to ask the Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure
Whether she will furnish Ms S J Graham with the details of the role that the Presidential Infrastructure Co-ordinating Commission (PICC) played in (a) the BeitBridge Border Fence project, (b) the determination of quarantine sites and (c) any other interventions within the purview of the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI); if not, why not; if so, what are the details of (i)(aa) which officials were involved, (bb) the scope of their involvement, (cc) the duration of their involvement and (dd) why they were seconded and/or used instead of DPWI officials and (ii) any cost to the DPWI for the interventions by the PICC?
The Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure:
(a) The Presidential Infrastructure Co-ordinating Commission Technical Task Team (PICC TTT) provided technical support during the investigation of BeitBridge BorderFence project.
(b) The PICC has a Geographical Information System (GIS) and geo-spacing capability
that was used to list and relocate sites proposed for quarantine. This list wasprovided to the Department of Health to conduct inspections and operationalize sitesas may be deemed necessary during the Covid-19 response.
(c) A specialist from the PICC TTT has been appointed as part of the IDT Exit Strategy TaskTeam that was tasked with investigating the sustainability of the IDT.
(aa) PICC TTT officials that provided technical support during the investigation of theBeitBridge project were Mr Tshepo Chuene, Mr Thabang Tladi, Mr MuzwandileButhelizi and Dr Hilton Macdonald.
(bb) The scope of the technical evaluation during the investigation focused on three keyaspects of the project, namely the contractual matters as related to the GeneralConditions of Contracts (GCC), analysis of the contract scope and costs ascontained in the Bills of Quantities (BoQ) as well as observations made during aproject site visit on 05 May 2020. This included:
- Reviewing contractual matters as captured in project documents, including themotivation and conditions for the accelerated appointment of both the Contractorand Principal Agent. The review team also checked whether those conditions inthe appointment contracts were upheld / adhered to;
- Analysing and comparing the rates of the 2016 BoQ with those of March 2020,in order to verify the compliance to the conditions set out in the motivation forthe emergency appointment of the Contractor and Principal Agent;
- Developing an independent BoQ to determine a fair price of the contract,through the team’s own market research, site visit observations and analysis ofcontract documents; and
- Assessing fitness for purpose and the quality of work of the implemented fencesolution, to effectively secure the 40km stretch of the border between SouthAfrica and Zimbabwe.
(cc) The duration of the Technical Task Team’s evaluation was an estimated 65 ours.
(dd) As departmental officials were involved in the implementation of the project andpossible conflict interest, the Department used an independent team to assist withthe technical aspects of the investigation. The team was complimenting theinvestigating team of the Department with engineering quantity surveying andproject management capabilities. The team is independent as it didn’t participate inthe planning and implementation of the project.
The Department recognised the need to work together with the PICC and SIU onthis investigation in order to enhance the effectiveness of dealing with corruption andmaladministration. The Department further recognised that effective and efficientmutual assistance in this investigation was fundamental to successful investigation,disciplinary proceedings, prosecution of crime and civil proceedings.
(ii) No cost to DPWI.