Tender worries halt R950m project

2011-03-31 17:19

Johannesburg - The tender awarded for the construction of the second phase of eThekwini Water and Sanitation's (EWS) R950m western aqueduct project has been delayed, the eThekwini Municipality said on Thursday.

Western aqueduct is a bulk water supply project commissioned by the utility.

The project was put under the spotlight after a number of construction firms which had tendered for the contract objected when a joint venture by EsorFranki and Cycad Construction won it.

Western aqueduct project manager Andrew Copley said all procedures were stopped after three objections were filed against the decision to award the contract to the EsorFranki/Cycad joint venture.

"The procurement and the legal departments of the municipality are currently working in conjunction with EWS to formulate an official reply to these objections and hopefully settle the award disputes soon. Until this matter has been resolved, no work will proceed on the construction of this phase of the project," he said.

Copley said there were various procedures and protocols which needed to be fulfilled before a tender application was deemed
A variety of criteria, including black empowerment equity, price and quality were assessed, he said.

"The awarding of the contract is based on the most advantageous offer received by eThekwini Municipality and not necessarily on the lowest price received," he said.

In January, Malcolm Lobban, CEO of civil engineering and construction group Sanyati Holdings, said he was "mystified and taken aback" by the lack of communication from Ethekwini Municipality following its tender, which he believed was the lowest.

"We submitted our bid in February last year and were adjudged as the lowest, with a price of R699.4m. WBHO (Wilson Bayly Holmes-Ovcon) were about 2.8% higher than us and their price was R720.1m," Lobban said.

He said that after February 2010, Sanyati and six other bidders had been asked to  extend the validity of their bids no less than four times between February and December 15.

"We were somewhat mystified, therefore, when we established on January 11 that the municipality (in a letter dated December 16 addressed to one of the other bidders) was seeking to award the contract to Esorfranki, whose bid price was R864.1m," Lobban said.

The tender was advertised on 6 November 2009 and was closed for submission on February 19, 2010. Seven tenders were received for the construction of the approximately 55km long pipeline.

"The delay in the commencement of construction of this project arising as a result of the objections that were received will inevitably result in some inconveniences and additional costs to all concerned," said Copley.

Phase II would stretch from the Inchanga Railway Station to the three terminal reservoirs in Ntuzuma, Mount Moriah and Tshelimnyama. It is anticipated that construction would take 30 months to complete.

"Being the largest bulk water pipeline ever commissioned by EWS to date, it is essential that for the sheer size of the pipelines and the fact that the route passes urban (residential and commercial) areas, the construction of this project be undertaken by a most experienced and resourced contractor. This will alleviate the impact that such works will have in the regions crossed by the pipelines," Copley said.

  • nonduplume - 2011-03-31 18:02

    Three words - Valli Moosa EsorFranki! It is quite amazing and disgraceful how gov bodies are quite happy to waste taxpayers monies on their buddies and cronies using black economic enrichment as a justifcation! They should all be fired not allowed to justify why a difference of R165m is going to a stupid (remember the cock-ups at Eskom) guy who is already obscenely wealthy.

      Bongza.GP - 2011-04-01 07:44

      EsorFranki is one of the best pipe-jacking companies in the world. If I, as a taxpayer, must entrust R17 Million per kilometer pipe to any company, then I would put my trust in them.

      nonduplume - 2011-04-01 10:56

      Bongza.GP - I do not care if they walk on water! I do not understand or accept why ratepayers should lay out an ADDITIONAL R165m which could be better used, for example to build 1064 houses for PDI's! Codl comfort to those whose hard earned money is being wasted and those that could get better service from a muncipality that does not care.

      Bongza.GP - 2011-04-01 13:04

      Example. It costs company A R100 to bake a cake from scratch and deliver it at the Union Building. It costs company B R95 to bake the same cake and deliver it at the same place but company B underpays their driver by R5. Which is better in terms of government’s minimum wage policy? The other companies might be cheaper because they are skimping on ablution facilities for the workers on site.

      karol.gembicki - 2012-09-04 14:38

      Love the R100 /R95 cake crap! will the clown explain the Reddy /Escom R80+ million story is there too a R5 driver some where in the story. How about get rich bosses.Have i got it wrong.

  • Thingamebob - 2011-03-31 18:11

    Anything to do with eThekwini needs to be check with a fine microscope. I wouldn't trust these guys with anything.

  • Archer - 2011-03-31 18:20

    Thank You Very Much!!!

  • Peter - 2011-04-01 04:49

    Amazing how the moderator is sensuring every comment of mine when I link the corrupt practices to AA/EE and the ANC cronyism.... Why is this so? A BEE/AA moderator,, what happened to objectivity?

  • ArtGee - 2011-04-01 07:11

    The old "CONNECTED" tag seems to follow the tenders... Thank you very much ANC.... you always seem to make EVERYTHING you touch, "DIRTY"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SHAMEFUL!

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