Part of R7bn Transnet project forced to halt by allegations of tender fraud

Part of R7bn Transnet project forced to halt by allegations of tender fraud

- A Transnet project in Durban has been halted after accusations of tender fraud were voiced

- According to a forensic report by Forensics for Justice, a joint venture named CMI Emtateni is under investigation

- The venture apparently got a tender of R3.6 billion despite warning obvious red flags surrounding the venture

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A big part of Transnet's R7 billion project in Durban has been called to a stop after allegations of tender fraud and BEE fronting surfaced.

The project is to upgrade Transnet's Durban container terminal but was put on hold in November when a forensic report was presented to the executive team.

The report was compiled by Forensics for Justice's Sarah-Jane Trent and Paul O'Sullivan, as reported on by News24.

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Transnet is now investigating the companies of a joint venture called CMI Emtateni awarded R3.6 billion of the project with an independent forensic team.

The venture consists of an Italian construction firm CMC di Ravenna and a company named CMI Infrastructures. CMI Emtateni got the project in July 2018.

The head of operations at CMC di Ravenna, Paolo Porcelli, is based in Italy, while CMI Infrastructures Philani Mavundla is a co-director of CMI Infrastructures.

According to reports, Transnet also approached the Hawks and registered a docket with them.

Transnet stated the forensic report by FFJ was unsolicited; while an investigation is ongoing, the project will be halted.

Briefly.co.za gathered that the report shows how Transnet failed to see warning signs before awarding the tender.

One such warning sign was the alleged R100 million of outstanding debts some of the individuals of the venture have with SARS.

Majority of the debt is Mavundla's, and not through his company.

Further, the report shows that some members of the venture would have gained from the tender without ever actually doing any work.

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The report also accuses the venture of having a BEE front, which Emtateni denies.

The fronting allegation is not only ridiculous but is also an insult to our black partners. In terms of the contract it's an express condition that there must be an equal split between the joint venture partners.

Transnet has not made any payments to CMI Emtateni yet.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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