The Rep

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.

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