R90k floor for rural KZN school storeroom

2015-04-01 14:55

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Pietermaritzburg - A storeroom in a rural KwaZulu-Natal school will have trappings of opulence, with a R90 000 tender set aside to repair an ageing floor.

The floor in a pre-fabricated structure at Cosmo Primary School in the KZN Midlands will be refurbished with Swedish Redwood, imported from lumberyards in Europe.

The plush hardwood comes at a cost of R8 000 per cubic metre, almost double that of pine, which is commonly used for flooring.

The department of public works has defended the contract specifications, insisting that care was taken.


News24 obtained the pricing schedule for the tender titled: “Repair Collapsing Floor”.

It details that the successful bidder should, “supply and fit 100mm X 21mm SABS off-set tongue and groove Swedish Redwood floorboards, twice grooved underneath for stability and machine sand the entire exposed wood floor area.”

A contractor bidding for the tender, who requested anonymity so as not to jeopardise his business standing with the state, described the tender as “exorbitant”.

“I visited the school and the floor to be repaired is in a storeroom. This job could have easily been done with pine at a fraction of the price, considering that this is a temporary structure that is now being fixed for nearly R100 000,” he said.

Quality, durability

Department of Public Works spokesperson Mbulelo Baloyi said a number of factors were considered prior to seeking an estimate for repairs.

“The type of wood is chosen based on the quality, durability, price and compatibility. Swedish Redwood was chosen after specialist investigation and recommendation. In this instance, being a school, the floor must be capable of withstanding heavy wear and tear.

“We do not normally disclose the estimate prior to adjudication. However, the estimate price is in the region of R89 000 and the department will insist on reasonability and value for money.

“The contract will be set for a one month period from the date of site handover,” Baloyi added.

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