PMB denies R1,2 bln tender

2013-08-30 00:00

NO broadband tender amounting to R1,2 billion has been awarded by the Msunduzi Municipality.

Municipality bosses, at a full council sitting on Wednesday, reassured councillors that telecommunications company Duzi Wired, owned by city businessman Paris Dlamini, had not been awarded the lucrative contract to install fibre optic cables for the city’s Broadband Network Project.

The tender, according to municipal manager Mxolisi Nkosi, is still up for grabs.

This followed a report by the Sunday Tribune that the president of Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business, Dlamini, had been awarded a lucrative R1,2 billion tender to install fibre optic cables for the project, which is aimed at improving the information and communication technology (ICT) in the city and surrounding areas. The paper claimed that Dlamini’s Duzi Wired company would get paid R100 million a year for 12 years.

Nkosi said that the municipality had attempted to award the tender in terms of section 32 of the Supply Chain Management Act — which meant they could use the same service provider used by the City of Johannesburg, without having to go through a tender process.

B-Wired is the service provider for the City of Johannesburg and they would have partnered with Duzi Wired, if awarded the tender. “There was nothing illegal in doing so. But we have not had a response to a letter written on 5 November 2012 requesting the services of the company that had installed fibre optic cables for them,” said Nkosi.

He said since they had not received any response, the tender had not been awarded.

“I think the media reports were presuming that we were using section 36 to award the tender, which was not the case,” he said.

Chairperson of the municipal public accounts committee, Mike Tarr, called for the Speaker Babu Baijoo to investigate some of the statements that appeared in the article to find the truth.

“Once the investigation has been concluded we will be in a position to know whether to take this matter up with the Press Ombudsman,” said Tarr.

Msunduzi Mayor Chris Ndlela seconded Tarr’s statement, saying councillors should allow the Office of the Speaker to investigate before any decision on the matter is taken.

Dlamini maintained yesterday that his Duzi Wired company had not been awarded any such tender and that his lawyers had been briefed to look into the matter.

Jovial Rantao, editor of the Sunday Tribune, said this week they were sticking to their story.

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