Rebuttal On Lies And Fabrications About Khato Civils In Botswana Water Project
(a) Khato Civils wishes to put on record that we have never at any stage conceptualised any project and it is very much obscured that certain individuals can credit a private company to influence how a government project has to be undertaken. Khato Civils like any other construction company responded to a public tender advertisement that was published through government gazette and advertised in various newspapers as Tender WUC 016 (2018) Water Project in Botswana.
The tender was advertised in March 2018 and it was for Design and construction of approximately 100 km and associated works from Masama wellfield to Mmamashia water treatment plant.
The tender closed on the 7th June, 2018 and there were 13 companies in total that submitted their bids. There was never any selective tender process undertaken towards the award of this tender in favour of Khato Civils.
When we went for tender briefing session we were informed that this project is an emergency pipeline and has to be implemented within 12 months and the main reason was that the NCS 2.2 projects was delayed and therefore this project will assist in dealing with the current crisis of water in Greater Gaborone.
Khato Civils has never at any stage discussed nor had a meeting with officials from either Water Utilities Corporation or the Ministry of Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services to conceptualise any project in Botswana. The insinuation that Khato Civils is able to influence and collude with politicians to be awarded contracts is ridiculous and nonsensical and actually undermines the degree of intelligence of government officials who are entrusted in making critical decision on behalf of Batswana people.
Khato Civils-NTR JV was awarded the contract for the refurbishment of NSC 1 Pump Stations PS1.1 and PS2.1 and this was advertised between July and August 2017 and awarded on the 16 February 2018.
Both projects as mentioned above were planned and advertised long before the current Minister and President came to power. As far as we know these projects form part of long term strategy for ensuring that there is consistent and sufficient water supply to people of Botswana and more in particular Greater Gaborone area.
Such statements that are directed at Khato Civils are misleading and devoid of the truth and once more shows that there are individuals who have ulterior-motives to scandalize and bring Khato Civils name into disrepute.
Our critics thrive on the narrow-minded idea that a black-owned company is incapable of delivering international quality works, which they believe can only be delivered by companies which are owned by non-blacks. Going by such backward mind-set, any success by a black-owned company is associated with corrupt or fraudulent elements.
We are convinced that the fabrications are emanating from unprofessional conduct by some elements within the industry and government circles who are hell bent on tarnishing our good image and reputation.
There are many companies that have been awarded huge construction projects worth millions by Botswana government in the past and no one has ever questioned such awards. Now that Khato Civils, which is 100% black owned has entered this market, certain rival business people are starting to fear for competition.
For example, one of these companies has in the past three years done four projects on the North South Carrier and did a second pipeline from North up to Palapye. They also did the PS 4.1 , the Pump Station just after Capricorn.
(b) Khato Civils does not have any information regarding your question that we were disqualified by the Ministry. This tender was issued by the Water Utilities Corporation as mentioned in part (a) of our response above and according to our knowledge the evaluation process was carried out by them and not the Ministry. There is no selective tender process followed in the award of this tender. It is the responsibility of Botswana government not Khato Civils to make a decision based on their laws and regulations on how the project should be procured and executed
Khato Civils has never been awarded any project in Botswana without following tender process. Khato Civils has lost more than three tenders that they submitted and they never accused anyone of corruption just because they have lost the tender.
We know for a fact that there are companies who are known to us that have been awarded many contracts in Botswana and no one has ever questioned such tenders and how they were awarded. Most of these projects were not subjected to an open tender process but straight appointment without any competitive bidding process.
As a matter of principle and law, Khato Civils does not at any stage accept work that has not been awarded through proper channels as stipulated in the policies and regulation governing the procurement of goods and services for government or state entity
(c) The amount that Khato Civils tendered for is P781 million inclusive of VAT and therefore we are perplexed by the accusation that price has been inflated. The tender price for the project as submitted by Khato Civils has never changed and people are free to go and inspect the original tender documents. It is shocking that there is now an amount of P400 million tender price being mentioned.
People can check the Bill of Quantities which has details for both designs and construction, including the purchase of the materials especially the pipes and valves which must be imported from either from Europe or China as they are not manufactured here in Botswana or South Africa.
Currently, the estimated cost of the pipes for this project is P470 million, pipe fittings is P17million and the Valves is P40million. These three items constitute almost 65% of the total cost of the project. Khato Civils like any other construction company does not manufacture these items and have to be sourced from reputable suppliers. This amount is not coming to Khato Civils and has to be paid directly to the manufactures.
Therefore those making these accusations can do your own calculations and tell us where they got the absurd idea that the price for this project has been inflated and the project should have costed P400million. Unless someone is deliberately misinforming the public and thereby creating false impression about the project.
Khato Civils has a proven track record for service excellence and we are very much confident that we will execute this project without fail and within the required time frame.
Tel: +27 82 602 5358