Contractor quits Transnet's Berth Deepening project amid probe

Transnet is continuing its investigations into allegations of irregularities in procurement processes for a berth deepening project, the state rail and freight entity said in a statement issued on Tuesday.

The contract for the berth deepening of the Durban Container Terminal's north quay was initially awarded to CMI Emtateni Joint Venture.  

On November 18, 2018 however Transnet received an unsolicited report from "Forensics for Justice' alleging that there were irregularities in the procurement processes for the project. Shortly afterwards, on November 20, 2018 Transnet stopped all work on the project to conduct internal investigations into the allegations.

Although no findings of wrongdoing have been made against CMI, as the investigation is still ongoing, CMI on February 20 issued Transnet a notice to terminate its services to the entity.

"In the best interest of both parties, Transnet accepted the contractor’s notice of termination and issued CMI Emtateni JV a termination certificate on the 16 April 2019," the statement read.

Transnet reiterated that internal investigations have not yet been concluded.

"Transnet is currently reassessing a way forward on the main marine contract scope of works in order to minimise any further delays in realising the benefits of the project," the statement read.

Transnet officials have been appearing before the state capture commission of inquiry. Board chairperson Popo Molefe, and acting CEO Mohammed Mahomedy provided evidence to the commission that procurement processes for some tenders at the state entity had been flouted.

Former Transnet engineer Francis Callard will continue his testimony to the commission on Thursday when the inquiry resumes.