HIGH HOPES for new ten­der spe­cs

GARDEN ROUTE DAM SPILLWAY

George Herald - - VOORBLAD - Mi­chel­le Pie­naar

It is back to the dra­wing bo­ard to find a suit­a­ble com­pa­ny for a highly spe­ci­a­li­sed job - the rai­sing of the Garden Route Dam's spillway.

The on­ly 100% black em­po­wer­ment com­pa­ny who pas­sed the e­va­lu­a­ti­on pro­cess for this Le­vel 1 BBBEE-ten­der

has wit­h­dra­wn from the pro­ject, as it is in li­qui­da­ti­on. We­st­land Ci­vils, a con­structi­on and ci­vil en­gi­neer­ing com­pa­ny with of­fi­ces in Mal­mes­bu­ry and V­re­den­burg, lan­ded the ten­der in Oc­to­ber last y­e­ar. The Ge­or­ge

He­rald re­cei­ved no com­ment from the com­pa­ny o­w­ner, Hen­nie La­te­gan, be­fo­re going to p­ress.

Ge­or­ge Mu­ni­ci­pal Ma­na­ger T­re­vor Bo­tha

con­fir­med the news of the wit­h­dra­wal last week. He said the Ge­or­ge Mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty re­cei­ved a let­ter from the con­trac­tor on Tu­es­day 20 March, in­for­ming the mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty of their "re­gret­ful wit­h­dra­wal of their ten­der".

"As the­re was on­ly one re­spon­si­ve ten­der, the mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty is now com­pel­led to call for new ten­ders and the pro­cess to ap­point

a new con­trac­tor will ta­ke at le­ast three mont­hs. The con­structi­on star­ting da­te is en­visa­ged for Ju­ly 2018," said Bo­tha. "Ge­or­ge Mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty shares the pu­blic's di­sap­point­ment, but re­mains con­fi­dent that the pro­ject will pro­ceed on­ce the pro­cess to pro­cu­re a new con­trac­tor is con­clu­ded."

The rai­sing of the Garden Route Dam spillway is a key pro­ject that has suf­fe­red nu­me­rous and lengthy de­lays o­ver a pe­ri­od of ne­ar­ly 10 y­e­ars. On 13 March, just a week be­fo­re the con­trac­tor wit­hdrew his ten­der, the Ge­or­ge Mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty is­su­ed a p­ress re­le­a­se in­for­ming the pu­blic that the rai­sing of the dam wall was fi­nal­ly going a­he­ad.

The Ge­or­ge He­rald car­ried the ar­ti­cle on 15 March. Now Ge­or­gi­ans will ha­ve to wait e­ven lon­ger. New ten­der spe­cs

The good news is that the Ar­ti­cle 80 bid ad­ju­di­ca­ti­on com­mit­tee meets on 12 A­pril and will ho­pe­ful­ly dis­cuss new ten­der re­gu­la­ti­ons for this pro­ject. The tig­ht Le­vel 1 BBBEE-ten­der re­gu­la­ti­ons re­qui­re a

100% black em­po­wer­ment com­pa­ny, and the­se seem to be a ra­re find. Ac­cor­ding to information the on­ly local com­pa­ny that com­p­lied with the strict BBBEE spe­ci­fi­ca­ti­ons was al­so li­qui­da­ted, and the­re­fo­re did not o­ri­gi­nal­ly qua­li­fy for the ten­der. The­re is talk, ho­we­ver, that the new re­gu­la­ti­ons mig­ht be re­laxed to a Le­vel 2 BBBEE-re­qui­re­ment, which in­vol­ves

50% black share­hol­ding, me­a­ning local com­pa­nies could qua­li­fy this ti­me round.

A local con­trac­tor who as­ked to stay a­no­ny­mous, said he he­ard the news via the gra­pe­vi­ne, and is very ho­pe­ful. "It gi­ves us a­not­her chan­ce. It's just a pi­ty that e­ver­y­thing took so long, be­cau­se it would ha­ve been much e­a­sier w­hen the dam didn't o­ver­flow," he said. The con­trac­tor men­ti­o­ned that the big­ger bud­get mig­ht re­sult in a furt­her chan­ge in ten­der spe­ci­fi­ca­ti­ons from a Le­vel 6 CE (a­bout R16-mil­li­on) pro­ject, to a Le­vel 7 CE pro­ject (up to R35-mil­li­on). S­tret­ching the bud­get

The De­part­ment of Wa­ter and Sa­ni­ta­ti­on do­na­ted R15-mil­li­on for the pro­ject back in 2009. Ge­or­ge Mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty on­ly succee­ded in obtai­ning a wa­ter per­mit in 2014, w­he­re­af­ter cer­tain le­gis­la­ti­on pro­ces­ses had to be met be­fo­re the pro­ject went on ten­der in Sep­tem­ber 2017. The ten­der was a­war­ded in Oc­to­ber.

In the coun­cil meet­ing of 28 Fe­bru­a­ry, ad­di­ti­o­nal fun­ding of just o­ver R12-mil­li­on was ap­pro­ved by Coun­cil. Coun­cil­lor Gert van Nie­kerk of the FF Plus said this would not ha­ve been ne­ces­sa­ry if the pro­ject was rol­led out e­ar­lier. "I ha­ve no i­dea why t­hey drag­ged their feet so long," he said. "E­very y­e­ar, sin­ce 2009, the mo­ney was rol­led o­ver. W­hat hap­pe­ned sin­ce 2014 w­hen t­hey obtai­ned the wa­ter per­mit, up until now?"

P­ho­to: Wes­sel van Heer­den

The rai­sing of the spillway would ha­ve been much e­a­sier w­hen the dam did not o­ver­flow, but with the va­ri­ous de­lays and the ap­poin­ted con­trac­tor pul­ling out, the new con­trac­tor will ha­ve to work a­round this pro­blem.

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