Claims of ‘favouritism’ over E.London stadium

Posted On Thursday, 29 April 2010 02:00 Published by eProp Commercial News
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Accusations of favouritism have emerged in connection with a BCM tender to have the former Absa Stadium upgraded for the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

Construction NewsSerious accusations of favouritism have emerged in connection with a Buffalo City Municipality (BCM) tender to have the former Absa Stadium upgraded for the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

Questions surrounding the city’s award for the upgrading of the East London stadium as a possible training camp for overseas soccer teams were raised in the book, Player and Referee, which deals with conflicting interests ahead of the global event in South Africa.

The book was launched by the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) in Cape Town on Wednesday.

A chapter based on the investigations of this reporter reveals how the successful tender of R3 851 700, awarded to the NOA/THM/ATB/Carifro consortium, was the highest of seven bids submitted.

According to documents, the other companies to tender were Ilitha Consulting Consortium (at R1 735 080), IDC/HRN/BKS Consortium (R2 222 222), Point Architects Consortium (R2 239 476), Impendulo Design Architects Consortium (R2 449 208), Gideon Sam & Associates (R3 044 250) and UWP Consulting Consortium (R3 318 449).

The award of the tender prompted Point Architects’ Henning Rasmuss, whose company had been successful in its tender for the Cape Town stadium, to write to BCM’s acting procurement and contracts manager on April 23 last year.

Rasmuss asked BCM to furnish his office with a report “as to the value of the contract awarded to the winning tenderer, and the basis on which the tender was awarded”.

He said he believed the awarded tender came in at an “excessively higher price than a number of other offers, including ours”.

Rasmuss also asked the municipality to “make a full disclosure of all factors affecting your decision-making in this tender”. He received no response from the municipality.

Johann Schoeman of the East London-based Impendulo Design Architects also complained to BCM acting municipal manager Nonceba Mbali-Majeng on April 23, that the results of the successful bid had not been made public.

He asked BCM to clarify the award and for a copy of the Bid Evaluation Report.

On May 12, after no response, Schoeman wrote again to Mbali-Majeng, whose supply chain management department denied ever having seen Schoeman’s letter, despite proof that the hand-delivered letter had been signed for.

In a subsequent letter signed by N Ncunyana, director of engineering services, to Schoeman , BCM said NOA/THM/ATB/Carifro had incorrectly submitted its bid as R3 851 700 and that the proper figure was R2 812 441.

Ncunyana said NOA/THM/ATB/Carifro had written to the municipality and corrected its tender amount.

However, two architects who attended the opening of the tender documents expressed concerns about the procedures followed.

They disputed BCM’s argument that the tender amount had been a mistake, saying that the official, while reading the tender amounts, looked carefully in each document for the correct page and amount.

The two architects also questioned the validity of correspondence between the successful tenderer and BCM after the opening of tenders.

They said, in fact, it was stipulated in the tender document that no tenderer may communicate with any official.

The architects also argued that the tender report had been withheld from them, and that the municipality had failed to apply the correct criteria in terms of the Public Finance Management Act.

They also disputed BCM’s interpretation of the Act over the criteria for previously and historically disadvantaged individuals (PHDI).

They said there was no mention by BCM at the compulsory meeting for bidders that an architectural firm’s PHDI component would be a factor.

“In fact, the criteria mentioned was: experience and a valid tax clearance certificate.

"This with my experience is the only document that allows an organ of the State to disqualify a tenderer,” said one of the losing bidders.

 

Last modified on Thursday, 03 October 2013 16:41

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