SANRAL explains rationale for cancellation of major Eastern Cape tenders
Eastern Cape, 14 June 2022 – The cancellation of the Mtentu Bridge and the rehabilitation of the R56 tenders in the Eastern Cape Province was necessary to ensure compliance with the South African National Roads Agency SOC Limited’s (SANRAL) procurement processes, said SANRAL Board Chairperson, Themba Mhambi.
Explaining to the district leadership of the OR Tambo District Municipality in Mthatha, Eastern Cape, Mhambi said that the SANRAL Board adopted a resolution that consultants involved in the design and development of technical specifications for projects should not be involved in the evaluation of technical submissions by bidders. The Board adopted this resolution because it deemed it to uphold and enforce proper governance in SANRAL.
“At the beginning of 2020, the SANRAL Board adopted a resolution that the consultants who are involved in the design and the development of technical specifications of tenders should not be involved in the evaluation of technical submissions by bidders. We felt that this is an appropriate control measure that is used to prevent collusion, fraud, conflict of interest, misuse of information and corruption. Previously, design consultants were part of the Technical Evaluation Panel that made a recommendation on the technical part of the tender to the Bid Evaluation Committee,” said Mhambi.
“With regard to the Mtentu Bridge project on the N2 Wild Coast Road Project, we became aware that the same design consultants were involved in the design and the development of technical specifications as well as in the evaluation of technical submissions of the bidders. No prior approval had been sought from the Board to deviate from the resolution.”
“A bid that should have been considered as non-responsive because it was not submitted in the prescribed and required format in terms of the specifications was accepted. The specifications included an increase in the scope of works by virtue of additional roads that were originally planned for community development projects in order to accommodate the 30% sub-contracting requirement.
“This resulted in a deviation from the 30% subcontracting and there was no 30% subcontracting on the actual project. The deviation was done without the requisite Board approval, and we found this to be irregular,” said Mhambi.
The same irregularities were discovered in the rehabilitation of the R56 Matatiele project.
Mhambi also dispelled the confusion and misinformation that SANRAL has cancelled projects in the Eastern Cape Province. “We want to stress from the outset that SANRAL has not cancelled projects in the Eastern Cape. The two tenders that I have just mentioned have been cancelled, but not current projects in the province.”
“As an organisation we recognise the important relationship that we have with the province in unlocking and unleashing major developments to local communities, particularly on towns that straddle the major N2 Wild Coast Road project,” added Mhambi.
From 2009 to date, SANRAL has invested over R14 billion on infrastructure development projects in the OR Tambo District Municipality, spanning across the local municipalities of Ingquza Hill, King Sabata Dalindyebo, Mhlontlo, Nyandeni Local and Port St Johns, explains SANRAL’s Manager for the Southern Region, Mbulelo Peterson.
This investment has been welcomed by the district. “These massive investments into the district not only translate into infrastructure development in the region, but it also means that more job opportunities have been available for local community members. As a district, we also continue to work together with SANRAL and our local municipalities to coordinate efforts to assist local SMMEs in benefiting from SANRAL projects.”
“We continue to value the partnership that we have with SANRAL, particularly in light of the recent provincial roads within OR Tambo District that will be gazetted by Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula. The managing and maintenance of these roads will now be taken over by SANRAL,” said OR Tambo District Deputy Executive Mayor, Thokozile Sokhanyile.