One bidder left for taxi technology plan

Posted On Monday, 19 January 2004 02:00 Published by
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Only one bidder for the supply of the electronic management system (EMS) for the government's multibillion-rand taxi recapitalisation programme remained part of the process

January 19, 2004

By Roy Cokayne

Pretoria - Only one bidder for the supply of the electronic management system (EMS) for the government's multibillion-rand taxi recapitalisation programme remained part of the process, it emerged at the weekend.

The shortlisted bidders for the EMS tender were the IT Prism and RSA EMS consortiums but Jerry Makokoane, the deputy director-general for public transport and planning in the transport department, confirmed at the weekend that IT Prism had withdrawn and had not submitted a best and final offer (Bafo) bid.

Makokoane did not believe the taxi recapitalisation process had been jeopardised because there was only one bidder for the EMS tender.

However, he admitted it could give the government some problems in terms of competition because it was now only dealing with one bidder and would not be able to make any comparisons.

But Makokoane said by the time the IT Prism consortium withdrew, the process had advanced and both consortiums had provided information that would assist the process.

He said the government had to do its own research and analysis on how EMS was advancing worldwide and, as part of the process, by the time government had to take a decision on whether the RSA EMS consortium was giving it a good deal, it had the option of getting into negotiations with the consortium.

The initial shortlist of six bidders for the supply of the new 18- and 35-seater taxi vehicles that would eventually replace the 97 000 aging minibus taxis was also trimmed by the deadline for the submission of Bafo bids.

Russia's Gaz Joint Stock Company withdrew from the programme and Afinita Motor Corporation, the local commercial vehicle manufacturer, was in liquidation and another of the shortlisted bidders did not submit a bid following the trade and industry department's decision to remove the company from the shortlist in July last year due to it being in liquidation. 

That left four bidders for the supply of the new taxi vehicles.

They are DaimlerChrysler; Iveco; Tata, the Indian bus and truck manufacturer; and Kwoon Chung Bus Holdings, a multinational consortium comprising Chinese, Hong Kong and local investors.

The government still intended to appoint more than one supplier for the 18- and 35-seater taxi vehicles to ensure there was competition.

Makokoane said the aim was to have the new taxi vehicles available to operators by June this year but he did not anticipate an announcement on the successful bidders this month.

"We'll have to see what transpires after the bids have been subjected to the full evaluation process," he said.

Dullah Omar, the transport minister, announced in November last year that the 16-seater mini bus taxi fleet would be illegal on the country's roads from October 2010.

Omar said from October 2008 taxi vehicles would have to comply with the new compulsory safety specifications to be licensed and from October 2010 all taxi vehicles that did not comply with these safety specifications would be removed from the road.

In terms of the taxi recapitalisation programme, taxi owners would receive a 20 percent scrapping allowance when they bought one of the vehicles provided by the successful bidders for the supply of the new taxi vehicles.

Publisher: Business Report
Source: Business Report

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