CAG report: 1,538 SGR foreign construction workers did not have work permits

Thursday April 08 2021
CAG PIC
By The Citizen Reporter

Dar es Salaam. The Controller and Auditor General (CAG) report on development projects shows that 1,538 out of 2,408 foreign workers constructing first and second phases of the Standard Gauge Railway from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma did not have work permits.

The report for the financial year ending June 2020 which was submitted to parliament today Thursday, April 8, 2021 shows that this was contrary to Section 9 (2) (a) of the Foreign Citizens Employment Act of 2015.

"A review of the November 2020 project development report found that a total of 586 foreign nationals out of 924 employed in the first phase of the SGR construction did not have work permits."

"This situation was also noted in the second phase where it was found that a total of 952 out of 1,484 foreign nationals did not have work permits," the report states.

The first and second phases of the Standard Gauge Railway is constructed by Yapi Merkezi an international privately-owned contracting company from Turkey that has specialised in rail engineering, design, manufacture and construction.

The CAG’s report further states that non-compliance with the work permits requirements  resulted in non-payment of US $ 1,538,000 which is equivalent to Sh3.5 billion(the exchange rate of sh 2,300).

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"Tanzania Railways Corporation officials revealed that the immigration department granted permission for these foreign nationals to use business visas to continue working while their applications for work permits were being processed,” adds the report.

"However, it was clearly stated in the letter that the issuance of a business visa was not an excuse for not having work permits for those foreign nationals employed in the SGR project," the report said.

The CAG has also identified that some 1,026 foreign nationals working on the SGR project (for both phases) did not have certification of their academic qualifications.

“The Work Development Report for November 2020 showed that, their certificates were undergoing various certification processes. However, 83 percent of them were still waiting because it was found that the applicants did not have the actual academic credentials and were waiting to receive them from Turkey, ” the CAG’s report explains.