Chapman’s Peak Toll Offices: Now that there is a legal precedent Carlisle has to act

 

 

Photo Cape Times: Protester Fiona Hinds was arrested by police yesterday after camping on Chapman's Peak toll plaza construction site for five days. Photo: Brenton Geach

Photo Cape Times: Protester Fiona Hinds was arrested by police yesterday after camping on Chapman's Peak toll plaza construction site for five days. Photo: Brenton Geach

Cape Times – 5 July 2013

Fiona Hinds, Simon’s Town writes:

Now that there is a legal precedent Carlisle has to act

References:
http://www.iol.co.za/capetimes/15-firms-fined-over-tenders-1.1537179
http://www.iol.co.za/business/business-news/construction-cartel-is-criminal-1.1537525

It is now public knowledge, the Competition Commission’s probe into bid-rigging by the major construction firms in South Africa uncovered a web of collusion within the SA Construction industry. For over 8 years the Public protested to try and prevent the building of the Entilini Toll Plaza on Table Mountain National Park land. During a Urgent Interdict Application to the Cape High Court the Minister Carlisle informed the Court that it was not in the Public’s best interest to question or reject the Contract signed by Western Cape Provincial Government on the Chapman’s Peak Toll Road “as it would cost R141 Million to cancel this contract”.

As Murray & Roberts has now been fined over R309 MILLION to avoid criminal prosecution it is in the interest of Good Governance by the WCPG to now urgently revisit the Chapman’s Peak Toll Road Contract which governs the use of Chapman’s Peak Drive for a period of 30 years.

Correction = Murray & Roberts is a major partner / shareholder in both Concor (who is partner to Hawe & Inglis) and “Entilini” whose Joint Partnership won this contract to operate this toll road. These major construction companies have now been found guilty of massive collusion on a nationwide basis, and the Chapman’s Peak Toll Road cannot be excluded from this web of Tender Rigging.

The people of Hout Bay & the Greater Cape Town Civic Association rejected the Toll Road on Chapman’s Peak. Being ignored by the leadership of the Western Cape it has resulted in no other option but to pursue this matter to the highest court in the land – the Constitutional Court.

If the Minister of Roads & Transport for the Western Cape, Min Robin Carlisle has taken his Oath of Office with any conscience, it would be in the interests of his professional integrity and his reputation to immediately table a re-consideration of the current Tender which operates on Chapman’s Peak Drive by Entilini / Hawe & Inglis & Murray & Roberts to prevent this travesty from continuing on for the intended remainder of the 30 year Contract.

Min Carlisle fought the Chapman’s Peak Toll Road Contract when he was part of the Opposition Party in the WCG – now he needs to do his job and get this Toll Contract cancelled whilst he is the Minister in charge of Roads & Transport for the Western Cape. He would find the Justice system would support such an action based on the recent findings by the Competition Commission which now provides him with a legal precedent.

 

 

Minister Carlisle

Cape Times – 9 July 2013
Robin Carlisle – MEC for Transport, Provincial Legislature responds:

I kept my promise

Fiona Hinds letter “Now that there is a legal precedent, Carlisle has to act” (Cape Times, July 5) refers. Given her intensive, and frequently bizarre, involvement in opposing the construction of the control centre on Chapman’s Peak Drive, Ms Hinds ought to be aware that Murray & Roberts were not involved when the Chapman’s Peak Drive rehabilitation and management tender was awarded. Further, her contention that Murray & Roberts is a major shareholder in Haw & Inglis is false. They own no shares in Haw & Inglis.

Her strident demands for Entilini’s contract to be cancelled because of Murray & Roberts involvement in the price –fixing scandal is therefore entirely illogical and in stark contrast with her last communication with Entilini, in which she pleaded so eloquently (and successfully) with Entilini not to press vandalism charges against her.

The contract for the building of the control centre & the quantity surveyor’s bill of costs are both in the public arena, and were studied by those who launched – and lost – a high court case to stop the construction. I kept my promises and my integrity is not in question. The same cannot be said for many of those who so bitterly opposed the construction and the amending contract which will save the taxpayers hundreds of millions of rand.

Fiona Hinds: – In reply to Min Carlisle “I kept my promise”:
https://www.facebook.com/ProtectChappies

What Carlisle calls “bizarre involvement” was a very successful “Publicity Stunt” which garnered the support of the public & press. The “15 Day Hunger Strike” by Bronwen Lankers-Byrne and a “5 Day Occupation of the Building Site” at the Chapman’s Peak Toll Plaza brought newspaper & TV coverage. Over 10 000 people came to the site & signed an “Objection Petition” pledging their condemnation of the building of this massive & un-necessary Toll Plaza.

Min Carlisle seeks to belittle many people with his reply. I have spent the better part of 16 years promoting Table Mountain National Park with a series of 3D Satellite maps which I design & publish (see www.capetourism.co.za), tourists have bought over 300 000 copies of my 3D maps to guide themselves around Cape Town & the Western Cape national parks. I am respected for my work and I have demonstrated my deep love for our wild unspoilt places. I have studied both Environmental Management at UCT, & Wilderness Management through the KZN Parks Board. I speak as an educated and well informed member of these academic fields, and I publically condemn this misuse of our heritage which we are meant to be protecting for future generations – this land has a protected status both as part of a National Park & a World Heritage Site. For me this Toll Plaza building was as sacrilegious as putting a pig’s head inside a synagogue or a mosque!

This over engineered building has gone up on a piece of land donated by Count Labia to the South African National Parks – he clearly stipulated that this land must remain undeveloped. The transfer Deed Documents from Count Labia to SA National Parks and the Western Cape Provincial Government were violated when a construction firm dictated to them they had “a contractual agreement” to build a Toll Plaza in this sensitive zone – that is why we protested so loudly. Everyone passing through can see this commercial building blight the once pristine landscape of the world famous Chapman’s Peak Drive, so for Premier Helen Zille to claim it is only “visible from 2Km out to sea” is misleading. This building is on a “blind approach” coming from both directions – bad planning by the engineers. Having spent 5 days & nights there I can confirm the busiest time for this mountain pass is early in the morning when hundreds of runners, cyclists & dog walkers use it to exercise as it has so little vehicular traffic on it. It is well known as a most splendid training track!

Min Carlisle needs to be corrected on several issues:

  1. Entilini did not drop the Criminal Charges they laid against the Toll Protesters. The Wynberg Court Public Prosecutor refused to prosecute for spray painting “Murray & Robbers – stop illegal building” on construction site netting, the Judge dropped the Criminal Charges as this was seen as a waste of the Court’s time. My protest action was supported by both the Hout Bay Rate Payers Association and the Greater Cape Town Rate Payers Chairperson’s, they arranged an Advocate for my legal support – prior to my entry into the construction site.
  2. Chapman’s Peak Drive rehabilitation project is a Joint Venture between Haw & Inglis; Concor; Jolinde and Marib Holdings construction companies. It states on the Entilini website “Who is who at Chapman’s Peak – Western Cape Province Administration is in a partnership with Entilini Concession comprising Murray & Roberts (Concor Holdings) with Haw & Inglis and Marib Holdings. Concor was acquired by Murray & Roberts in 2006 and it operates as a division of Murray & Roberts Limited. Chapman’s Peak Contract is Concor in a partnership with Haw & Inglis – and by default Haw & Inglis is in partnership with M&R. They may not have joint shareholders (I stand corrected on this point) but they are Joint Venture Partners. It is deceptive of Robin Carlisle to reply that Murray & Roberts are NOT involved in the Chapman’s Peak Drive rehabilitation & management, and to mention that I am “illogical” is defamation – which he aims at me to mislead the public.

Recently the Competition Commission fined Haw & Inglis a sum of R45 Million as part of a plea bargain to avoid Criminal Charges being issued against them for Collusive Tendering, along with Murray & Roberts who accepted a fine of R309 Million. Haw & Inglis Head Office in Durbanville (021 – 976 1110) also accommodates the MD of Entilini, Mr Enzo Menegaldo. The landslide, in September 2012, behind the Toll Plaza building site was caused directly by these engineers drilling into an ancient soft Kaolinite (rotten Granite) slope. During the Judgment against our High Court Urgent Interdict (May 2013) the Judgement stated that we were “exaggerating the environmental impact”. Structural engineers, geologists & Mother Nature have now confirmed it was a mistake to “pin R3 Million Rands worth of mesh netting” in to a Kaolinite slope. Further faulty engineering design is found further down the pass in the Steel Mesh Netting on the massive slopes above the steepest part of the Drive. These mesh netting materials are no longer covered by a Guarantee to work – AG Geobrugg (Swiss manufacturer) cancelled this due to “wrongful application of their product” as Entilini pinned this into Sandstone. These two serious errors by the engineers makes one wonder what other mistakes have made on Chapman’s Peak. Martin East tendered to do the Chapman’s Peak Road Rehabilitation for less than R50 Million plus they would NOT have put a Toll on the road for 30 years. So who is fooling who?

Some serious questions for Minister Carlisle:

  1. Why has WCPG given Entilini 20 years to repay R59 Million paid to Entilini for their “wrongful compensation claim”? Entilini got paid for 18 months whilst they closed the pass under a dodgy clause previously in this faulty Contract. That the DA led WCPG re-wrote this Contract a 3rd time to remove this clause is no reason for praise – this Contract should have been cancelled due to this enormous act of “Bad Faith” by their contractor Entilini. This sum of R59 Million rand is still in the pockets of Entilini and should be immediately repaid to the coffers of the WCPG, who could invest it in an interest bearing account and spend it on maintaining Chapman’s Peak Drive. Why did the DA perpetuate a bad Contract instead of cancelling it?
  2. Why are Entilini paid R120 000 monthly for “office accommodation” – when we know it costs only R10 000 per month for them to rent the admin office space in a Hout Bay commercial building? Enzo Menegaldo quoted they get paid R120 000 pm by WCPG – he initially stated they were paid R1.2 Million pm but he then corrected himself at the end of the 2012 interview with John Maytham live on Cape Talk Radio.
  3. Why was the building of the Toll Plaza not on Public Tender? Why was Entilini the only company to quote for this R54 Million building?
  4. Why did WCPG not insist on an environmentally friendly design with automated booths that would have cost us a mere R100 000 rather than a huge white elephant of a Toll Plaza? We are constantly told that after 30 years this building will revert to the ownership of the Province – but why did the WCPG allow a huge commercial structure in such a sensitive National Park area?
  5. Has WCPG allowed a private independent Quantity Surveyor to assess if R54 Million was actually spent by Entilini to construct this Toll Plaza?
  6. The traffic volumes that Entilini tendered on to manage Chapman’s Peak have never been met – and they are dropping year on year due to the excessive Toll Fees. It is Highway Robbery for them to charge R33 tariff for a 4 door sedan car to use just over 7km of road when one considers in comparison that it costs R4 to travel from Durban’s King Shaka Airport 28Km to Durban on an upgraded 4 lane highway!

When will the DA led WCPG take this Contract for investigation and ultimately cancel this faulty 30 year Contract? The Chapman’s Peak Drive Contract is clearly not a good business investment for WCPG, nor for Entilini nor for commuters. The DA should re-examine the faulty Chapman’s Peak Contract along with their aim for compensation on 2010 stadium expenditure in the fresh light of Collusive Tendering being proven by the Competition Commission.

Our tax is paid by VAT and hard working individuals – it should not be squandered by those who have been given the responsibility to manage these Billions. To come out and admit a mistake is the sign of good leadership – the old adage applies here – pride comes before a fall. What promise has Min Carlisle kept? And how does he know that his integrity is not in question?

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