Questions raised over parliament demolition contractor

National Assembly Building in Cape Town

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The construction company awarded the highly technical and intricate demolition work at the National Assembly building in Cape Town, Maziya General Services, has a history of delays and cost overruns in a raft of government contracts − and, in one instance, price-fixing collusion.  

News24 reports that the highly specialised nature of the demolition work needed at Parliament has raised concerns.

The National Assembly buildings, old and new, will require extensive repairs on the internal structure, with the outer facade preserved.

The contract for the demolition works was awarded before the main construction company had been appointed, or designs completed. 

The demolition was initially supposed to be included in the main construction company’s scope. 

The Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA) – the implementing agent for Parliament – said the tenders were separated because only the parts of the building that were badly damaged needed to be demolished.

A structural engineer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that, hypothetically, a contractor hired to demolish dozens of single-storey family homes could obtain a Grade 8 rating − if the value of the contract was higher than R30 million.

While none of the parties involved were willing to confirm, it appears Maziya offered a price of less than R75 million for the work. He was appointed within the past two months. 

The dangers, the engineer said, were clear – the uncontrolled collapse could result in not only injury and death to workers, but also the loss of the historically important facade of the building, some of which has been maintained. 

The DBSA verified Maziya’s technical experience in their previous work and due diligence was done.

The DBSA has clarified that the tender for actual construction has not been issued. 

The company has signed contracts worth billions with Prasa. The vast majority of their work, however, has been construction – not demolition.

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