Over 40 SMMEs from the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality have called on government to investigate the R11 billion Chinese car plant, BAIC, for alleged corruption.
It’s alleged that work has been on standstill at the plant, following a protest by small construction companies, demanding a payment of over two months old invoices.
The new car manufacturing company, BAIC has allocated 35 percent of the work to small construction companies, for them to benefit from this multi-billion mega project, to increase job creation in this region. Member of the SMMEs development committee at BAIC, Lithemba Singaphi says necessary investigations must be conducted.
“You can’t have an 11 billion project suddenly on standstill because you claim that Chinese have not been paid. Yes there’s a lot of rumours that are circulating out there, but so far the investors what they have paid does not tally with what is on site. So if that is the case we are saying if there is an investigation that has to take place, it has to.”
BAIC SA spokesperson, Mandla Mpangase says they will address issues relating to SMMEs in a meeting scheduled for Wednesday.
“The SMMEs dynamics in this province are rather peculiar. And so we are trying to find our way through this maze. We’ve set up a range of interventions, for an example, we’ve appointed a SMMEs development and support consultant, we’ve set up an SMME office precisely to deal with a range of SMME issues. It’s quite a process and we are hopeful that at least by the end of this week everyone will be back on site. Non-payment is another issue that we are dealing with because it is not right.”
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