The Independent Development Trust (IDT) has responded to a story that ENCA ran on the refurbishment of the struggle icon’s house in Brandfort. Winnie Madikizela-Mandela occupied the house when she was banished to Brandfort, in the Free State in the 1970s by the Apartheid regime.
The property has been turned into a museum and the heritage project has been implemented by IDT on behalf of the Department of Arts and Culture.
The ENCA reports that about R1,86-million was transferred to the IDT, having been appointed by the department as an implementing agent for the project, but that no work was done on the project. It further states that the department terminated the IDT’s contract after the organisation had failed to pay contractors and that these funds remain unaccounted for
The IDT wishes to put it on record that indeed the Department of Arts and Culture allocated an amount R3 million for the Winnie Mandela House Project, of which R1 858 195.71, was transferred to the IDT for the implementation of this project. The IDT then advertised the tender in 2013 and a contractor was appointed by IDT in November of that year for the project at a value of R2,5-million.
Almost a year after the contract was terminated by the IDT due to poor performance of the contractor, i.e. undue delays in the execution of project and inability of the contractor to proceed with the project and bring the work to completion.
At that point a total of R593 622 was spent by the IDT on the project for consultant fees including one Contractor payment of R117 543 mainly for preliminaries and general, site establishment and earthworks. This payment was in line with the actual work done to date and the contractor as well as the professional services provider were paid in full for work done.
Following the termination of the contractor, the IDT requested an approval from the Department to re-advertise the tender and this was granted in July 2015. The tender adjudication process was concluded in November 2015 for the total value of R2,48-million and IDT sought approval to award to the winning bidder from the Department.
The IDT was then instructed on 21 December 2015 to reduce the scope due to financial constraints and the IDT duly complied and removed some of the items from the original scope, resulting in a revised amount of R1,36-million.
The IDT was awaiting for approval from the Department to proceed with the appointment of a contractor for the implementation of the reduced scope of work when its agreement was terminated on 9 November 2016 and a process of ceding all the documentation, assets and liabilities to the Department is underway.
The remaining amount of R1 264 573.42 is in the trust account of the Department of Arts and Culture held by the IDT, which will be surrendered to the Department when the process of ceding the assets and liabilities has completed.