R1.2bn tender scandal in PMB

2013-08-26 09:10

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Durban - A R1.2bn tender for a fibre optic cable around Pietermaritzburg was awarded to a company without the project going out to tender, it has been reported.

It has also been found that the man who brokered the deal, Paris Dlamini, knows nothing about telecommunications but will earn R100m a year over the next 12 years from it, the Sunday Tribune reported.

Funding for the construction, maintenance and use of the fibre optic network never went out to tender because it was deemed part of a transport contract.

The 119km web of fibre optic cable is set to increase the connectivity of government and business entities across the city with high-speed internet.

Using position

The contract was awarded to Johannesburg-based company Bwired, and their four-month-old Pietermaritzburg partner Duziwired.

The directors of Bwired are also the directors of Duziwired. They had made a proposal late in 2011 in which the network was punted to complement Pietermaritzburg’s Urban Renewal Project.

Dlamini is understood to have brokered the deal, trading on his position in the city.

Msunduzi Municipality resolved to award the vast contract to Duziwired without considering other bidders when the resolution was passed at a strategic management committee meeting in February.

The contract was awarded under the emergency regulation section 32, which means there is no need to call for proposals or bids.

Council documents show the project will be funded by the national department of transport.

Auditor general spokesperson Africa Boso said a probe into the contract had not been initiated as it had not been formally brought to their attention.

No deal signed - City

However, Msunduzi city manager Nxolisi Nkosi said no accord between the municipality and Duziwired had been drawn up.

“The project has not been awarded as yet. We made a recommendation for it to be awarded in terms of section 32 of the Supply Chain Management regulations. This means that you use a supplier procured by another municipality through a competitive bidding process.

“In order for that to proceed you first have to obtain approval from another municipality to use section 32 and obtain their approval as well as contractual documents.

“What has happened to date … we have written to the City of Johannesburg requesting their approval to use section 32. To date the City of Johannesburg has not responded and that is where the process is at.”

Dlamini said he was an “entrepreneur” but admitted he had no experience in telecommunications. “I used to be in politics in this area so I know the playing field,” he said.
Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  tenders

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