Failed book supplier gets tender

2017-02-05 06:05

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Durban - The city's Coastal KZN Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) College has booksellers fuming after it awarded a contract for the 2017 academic year to the same company that failed to deliver on a R16m textbook tender last year.

Now a city bookseller who had also made a bid for the tender has written to the college’s management and the department of higher education and training requesting an investigation into the tender process, claiming that Haait Investments, trading as Redwood Stationers and Booksellers, had not met basic criteria stipulated by the college.

This included having a walk-in book shop and being a member of the SA Booksellers’ Association.

Redwood failed to respond despite several attempts for comment.

In a letter last week, Oriel Buntting of R&L Books asked for clarity about the tender process and how Redwood won it, considering it seemed not to have met the stipulated criteria.

“Last year, students didn’t get books. If this tender had gone to a company that could deliver on time, I would have been happy, but this is not the case as the publishers had not received orders in time,” she said.

Financial irregularities

Last April, City Press revealed that the textbook tender awarded to Redwood Stationers and Booksellers was being probed by the department, under which Coastal falls, for a series of alleged procurement and placement irregularities.

Coastal is the eighth TVET college campus bedevilled by student and staff protests over alleged corruption and maladministration since 2013.

Last year it abandoned its practice of buying books for an estimated 15 000 students directly from publishers and introduced the tender process.

The college council also held its own investigation into the tender and other alleged financial irregularities.

Staff at the college, who asked not to be named as they are not authorised to speak to the media, said there had been no briefing on the outcome of the two investigations.

Buntting argued that at a site meeting, Coastal management had acknowledged that Redwood had failed to deliver on time last year and that students had been given photocopied textbooks.

On Thursday, students at Coastal College’s Swinton Road campus and two Umlazi campuses said they had not yet received textbooks.

Principal Sibhanana Ndlovu said the bid process was overseen by council members and three bid committees.

Various campuses

“All due processes were followed and, as a result, the awardee for 2017 was the lowest bidder who has met all the criteria,” Ndlovu claimed.

Phakama Ndunakazi, provincial secretary of the National Health Education and Allied Workers’ Union, which asked for the original probe last year, said the re-awarding of the tender to the same company was “a problem”.

Ndunakazi also confirmed that students had again not received textbooks at the college.

Ndlovu said there had been some delays in getting textbooks to the various campuses because of protests, but argued that campus managers of the institution had reported that 90% of books for 2017 had been delivered.

Read more on:    durban

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
Partner Content
What all investors should know about index investing

Index-linked investments are growing fast in popularity globally, and are growing in size and complexity too.

Partner Content
How data is changing investments

Technological disruption is rife in many spheres of business and given the quantity of data available, it’s no surprise that the way in which asset managers work is also changing fast.

/News
 

Does your dog have separation anxiety?

We've got tips, advice and how to help your dog

 
 

Paws

Fascinating facts about dogs
Perfectly captured cat snapchats!
Out with the old dog, in with the new
Play with your pet when you're not at home
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.