Subcontractor wants material costs’ refund from construction firm

Free State-based leading construction company Phezulu Plant has been accused of swindling subcontractor Kamelisiwe Holdings of money for road material.

Kamelisiwe Holdings was subcontracted for special maintenance of Road P41/2 which goes through Reitz, Tweeling and Frankfort at the value of R981 936 excluding value-added tax.

David Mnguni, Kamelisiwe Holdings’ director, said the agreement between the two companies started going south when they agreed that he should purchase material needed to complete his portion out of his pocket and await a refund.

An invoice that Sunday World has seen shows that Kamelisiwe Holdings bought 12 500 80mm interlock paving bricks worth R74 875.

Transport was billed at R16 925 which took the invoice up to R91 800.

He said the company kept on asking for proof of purchase by means of invoice or proof of bank transfers to show that he indeed supplied bricks for the bellmouth, and that this would be key to receiving his refund.

Phezulu Plant plays hide and seek

Mnguni said he provided an invoice, but noted that Phezulu Plant has been giving him a runaround instead of paying off the amount.

“These people try by all means to deny their mistakes and try to paint us with a bad brush. They come with new stories everyday and keep changing them,” he said.

“Firstly, they told me that they had paid the money, and I asked where the money was paid to and asked for the certificate that reflects this payment.

“They simply asked me for proof of payment for the material and I gave them exactly what they wanted, now they are coming with a new story that there was a discussion I know nothing about.”

He said the only thing he signed for when he put pen to the final contract in August was for the work done, noting that he is still waiting for his refund for the material he purchased for the project.

Danie van Rensburg, project coordinator, said although they had received the invoice, they still had not received proof of payment.

He argued that the invoice was dated as the project neared completion.

“We tried to locate the business Twins Youth Initiative in Reitz to get confirmation of the supply, we could not locate the business,” said Van Rensburg.

“During a meeting on 17 August 2023 at our site office, we discussed and explained the final payment certificate to Kamelisiwe Holdings, all quantities and deductions were explained.

“After the meeting on 22 August 2023, Kamelisiwe Holdings signed off and accepted the full and final payment certificate. He then submitted his final invoice and we paid him.”

He said although they could not confirm the purchase, Phezulu Plant compensated the subcontractor by not deducting bricks from him.

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