The CCMA has turned to the courts to try and cancel a R100 million lease agreement for its Cape Town headquarters, MPs heard on Thursday. Briefing Parliament’s portfolio committee on labour, officials of the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) indicated that a forensic investigation found they had awarded the contract to the “wrong bidder”.
“In 2013, we signed a lease contract with a successful bidder with an intention to occupy that property at least on the first of March in 2014,” said CCMA legal services head Cameron Morajane.
“Effective, in 2014 we have not been able to occupy that building…due to a number of problems we have had.”
According to a Sunday Times article, the building has a gaping hole in the facade and no front door. Morajane said after experiencing various problems with the landlord, they had decided to do a forensic investigation.
“We discovered that actually that taking into account all the information that came out of the forensic investigation, that the bidder that won was the wrong one,” he said.
“As a result of that we then decided that as a public institution that is in possession of public funds, we have to take advice and do what is right.”
The CCMA consulted lawyers to get advice on the lease.
“We were advised that in terms of the constitution, in terms of competitive bidding, equity and fairness, we cannot knowingly proceed,” Morajane said.
The CCMA has since approached the Western Cape High Court for relief.
“An application has been made that that award or contract be set aside,” said Morajane.
“As we stand now, the matter is pending at court.”