There’s still no light regarding Operation Mabone

Operation Mabone poles left abandoned in Bothashoek.

BURGERSFORT – Residents are losing patience with Fetakgomo Greater Tubatse Municipality (FGTM), after another service-delivery initiative seems likely to fail.Operation Mabone will not be completed by the agreed deadline of April 30.

The initiative has come to a standstill again and the contractor, Lufuno Mphaphuli of Mphaphuli Consulting, has allegedly left all working sites.The operation was planned to light up to 26 villages in Tubatse. Only 16 have received electricity so far, while nine communities are still patiently waiting for their homes to be powered.

A letter seen by Steelburger/Lydenburg News indicated that, “In order to allow Mphaphuli Consulting the possibility to realise the target date of completion at the end of April, and in order to effect switching on of the remaining nine villages, it is crucially important that interim payments by FGTM to Mphaphuli Consulting be effected as follows: R12 million before March 24, as well as R13 million before April 14”.According to sources close to the contractor, the reasons behind the operation’s stoppages are the delay in payments from the contractor and suspicions that he has overcharged for the project.Mphaphuli admitted that they had left some of the sites. He alleged that FGTM derailed the initiative, as it believes that he overcharged it.

A reliable source said, “They are in a battle whereby FGTM, wants to acquire the services of an auditor who will determine if Mphaphuli Consulting overcharged for the operation.” The source went on to reveal that Mphaphuli advised FGTM to seek the services of an engineer who would serve as an adjudicator. It would then be able to determine if he overcharged them.Mphaphuli highlighted that he is committed ensuring that the other remaining villages are electrified, but FGTM’s leadership seems to be a stumbling block.Queries were forwarded to FGTM with regard to the stoppages, but the spokesman, Kubane Tolo, indicated that the municipality could not comment on the project as the matter was sub judice.

In an effort to determine why the operation has fallen flat again, residents have scheduled a series of meetings with FGTM’s leadership.Steelburger/Lydenburg News learned that poles and equipment were stolen from sites at Mashamothane, Kutullo and Taung.

Gilbert Motseo

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