Timeline for controversial Fikile Gwadana road upgrade tender process
In May 2017 the municipality appointed Buchule Engineers (Pty) Ltd, for the period May 2017 until 2021, to source grant funding for roads, stormwater and neighbourhood development. The company would be paid 15% of the sourced funding. Buchule managed to source funding from the department of transport for the upgrading of Fikile Gwadana road and the company was retained to undertake project management and to be the principal agent of the municipality.
In June 2020 the municipality advertised a tender for the appointment of a panel of contractors for civil engineering projects. According to EMLM municipal manager Nokuthula Zondani, the procurement process was intended to yield a panel of contractors that would be appointed into the municipality’s database to be called upon to tender for any construction-related work based on their Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) grading. A generic tender document that focuses on eligibility and functionality was prepared, with the latter aspect set to include contractors with CIDB grades which fall within the scope of the range of work packages created by the EMLM from time to time.
In August 2021 the municipality and then administrator Monwabisi Somana approved a selection process for contractors on the municipality’s panel of contractors. This document once again reiterated the need to have the functionality aspect of the tender document tailor made to include contractors with CIDB grades.
On September 16 2021 the department of transport approved the feasibility study, business plan and preliminary report detailing the project and its costs as prepared by Buchule. The report estimated the total cost of the project at more than R99m. The same amount is said to be used as a guideline for the CIDB contractor grading required for the project.
In October 2021 an invitation to bid was emailed to four contractors in the municipality’s panel of civil engineers. Only four contractors responded to the generic tender invitation to form part of the panel of contractors which was published in June 2020. Two service providers submitted their bids by the closing date. These were Mayibuye iAfrika Trading and Makali. The project was subsequently approved by the department of transport.
On November 17 2021 the bid adjudication committee of the municipality had a meeting where they recommended the approval of the bid by Makali, which was the lower of the two bids at an amount of R98.545,976.14. The next day, Zondani signed a letter advising Makali of its appointment as a successful bidder and a service level agreement. The company accepted the following day.
On January 10 this year, the site was handed over to Makali and work started on February 22.