BREAKING: Court halts R4bn Eskom tender

Johannesburg - General Electric and Murray & Roberts have been granted an interdict to stop a controversial R4bn Eskom tender.

The tender was awarded in March to Chinese firm Dongfang to replace a boiler at Duvha power station in Mpumalanga, even though it quoted R1bn more than its rivals. The boiler exploded in 2015 and needed to be replaced.

Losing bidders General Electric and Murray & Roberts approached the high court in Johannesburg in April to interdict Eskom from implementing Dongfang’s contract until it has been reviewed and adjudicated again.

Both vendors argued that Dongfang’s offer was R1bn more expensive than rival bids, even after it dropped its prices from R6bn to R4bn.

Eskom opposed the application, arguing that the Dongfang bid was less risky because its price was final.

Ed Jardim, group investor and media executive for Murray & Roberts, told Fin24 that Dongfang cannot proceed and the tender has been referred back to Eskom to reconsider.

"Exactly what this means right now is that Eskom will probably have to restart the bid process," he said. "This entire issue is bad for South Africa, as we are still without a boiler and it will be delayed now if the bid process has to be restarted, and there were obviously some South African jobs on the line."

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