Nketoana municipality forced to pay contractor after ‘lockdown’

The Nketoana local municipality in the small farming town of Reitz in Free State was forced into lockdown by an infuriated unpaid contractor demanding over R500 000.

Sedmo Trading administrator Hitler Motaung said the company had submitted an invoice in May which has not been paid after nearly a month.

The contractor is responsible for resealing of roads in Nketoana and claimed that any payment delay would halt the project and create a bad reputation for them.

“This would create a bad name for me because people only judge the contractor by job done on the field. Once it stops, it would be assumed that we spent all the money on ourselves instead of rightfully assuming that the municipality is not releasing our monies.

“This was my second invoice, the first one was supposed to be paid in December but we only received the money in January, and we were told to pay out R50 000 from our money and some sort of bribe.

“This is where we learnt of their ways and this is why we closed their offices,” said Motaung.

He said it hit him that the municipality was sabotaging him so he would not work and have a bad record. He said this motivated him to also shut all operations at the municipality on Monday.

Motaung was assisted by an associate, Tseko Motholo, who used his tractor loader backhoe to close the vehicle entrance and his personal car to close the pedestrian entrance.

Motholo said he became part of the dramatic act because Motaung delayed payment for using his field and explained that it delayed from the office.

“There was no other choice but to go there and do all that. It proved to be successful because full payment was made before the end of the day, to show that they always had the money but only delayed it because they wanted the bribe payment that the contractor was unwilling to give out,” said Motholo.

The municipality’s communications officer, Barbara Segacwi, could not respond to questions at the time of publishing.


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