Pipeline back on track

2013-04-19 00:00

AFTER a two-year delay, the second phase of the Western Aqueduct project is back on track.

The aqueduct is designed to meet the future water demand in Durban’s western suburbs. Cycad Pipelines has won the contract to install the first seven kilometer pipeline between Inchanga Station and Alverstone Neck, eThekwini water and sanitation announced.

The contract is reported to be valued at R125 million.

The first phase of the Western Aqueduct, involving 19 km of pipeline from Umlaas Road to Inchanga Station, was commissioned in June 2011. The long delay in starting the second phase resulted from legal action, taken after the original R864 million contract was awarded to Esorfranki and Cycad Pipelines in July 2011.

Two losing bidders, Sanyati Civil Engineering and Construction and Group Five, went to court.

In October 2011 in the high court in Pietermaritzburg, Judge Dhaya Pillay found that the contract had been awarded unlawfully and ordered that a new tender be advertised.

In her judgment Pillay said the conduct of eThekwini officials in awarding the contract amounted to “gross negligence” and was biased and procedurally unfair.

“This case typifies how not to conduct procurement,” she said.

As a result of the court action a new tender process was undertaken. Instead of a single contract for the entire 55 km of pipeline, the new tender divides the contract into into six projects that are to be rolled out over seven years.

Work on the first section, from Inchanga Station to Alverstone Neck, is expected to start at the end of this month.

The second sector, between Alverstone Neck and Ashley Drive in Kloof, has been put out to tender.

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