Shortly after an upper floor collapsed into the main entrance at Charlotte Maxeke Hospital in Johannesburg on Thursday, Gauteng MEC of Infrastructure Development Jacob Mamabolo was quick to tell the media that the construction company working on the site, Thandzanani Enterprise, had been fired.
The department says they went through a regular tender process when hiring the company. However, when we did some digging of our own, search results returned blank.
Roy Mnisi, Executive Director of Master Builders South Africa (MBSA) says it is odd that Government will give a construction tender to a company that doesn’t even have a website.
“Websites are there to help members of the public check the existence of a company and shows who their directors are, where they are based and their experience,” he says.
“It is strange that a company could be given such a big task working at Charlotte Maxeke Hospital but they do not have a simple website.”
MBSA is a federation for construction companies and they also have a database of all construction companies in the country, but only those that have gone through a rigorous screening process and agree to abide by codes of conduct and ethics.
When asked how the Department of Infrastructure Development checked the credibility of the company, Theo Nkonki the department’s spokesperson said the tender process was normal and they had nothing to worry about.
However, at Charlotte Maxeke Hospital on Thursday night, Gauteng MEC of Health Gwen Ramokgopa, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi and Mamabolo said Thandzanani Enterprise had not done a proper inspection of the site.
More puzzling is that Mamobolo revealed that the department had its own engineer on site, who did not spot any issues.
We asked Nkonki to explain what his role was and why he had not detected anything.
“He’s like a ‘big brother’ that overseas operations on the site and he provides site reports such as looking into health and safety,” he says.
“But we are doing an investigation to help us understand who didn’t do what they were supposed to do on the site.”
Mamabolo admitted that Thandzanani Enterprise had also not placed any safety to warn people that they were constructing and that there could be hazards.