Battle looms over Cape Town green waste tender

2018-01-31 16:57
Waste vehicle in the City of Cape Town. (Duncan Alfreds, News24, file)

Waste vehicle in the City of Cape Town. (Duncan Alfreds, News24, file)

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Cape Town – A battle is looming over a green waste tender in the City of Cape Town as a key contract is appealed, sparking rumours that drop-off points will be closed.

The City of Cape Town has, however, rejected assertions that green waste drop-off sites will be closed because of the tender dispute.

Reliance Compost, which has managed some of the city's green waste drop-off points for 15 years, tweeted that the sites would be closed as a result of the tender not being awarded.

However, mayoral committee member for water and waste services councillor Xanthea Limberg rejected this assertion.

"The content in the social media post, alleging that green waste sites will be closed, is not true.

"The tender process, which is currently under way to appoint a new contractor, is in the appeal period. A contingency plan to manage the facilities has been put in place until the appeal process has been finalised."

R12m-loss for winning bidders

Limberg insisted that the tender appeal process would not have an impact on the public, but did not elaborate on the "contingency plan".

The response is cold comfort to bidders who initially won the contract but have not been able to work on site because of the appeal.

"On December 14 we were given the go-ahead to be on site on January 1, and on January 22 we get a letter stating that there has been an appeal lodged," a distraught Zakier Engar of Waste Carriers told News24.

His company spent R7.5m on a compactor machine and a number of loaders, at the cost of R1.2m each, in order to fulfil the contract which has now been put on ice.

"We've financially implicated ourselves and the city just apologises. It's cost me quite a bit of money – we're looking at about a minimum of R12m," said Engar.

Landfill Consult, which managed five sites for the City of Cape Town, said it was advised in November 2017 that the contract was ending and a new contract would be in place by January 2018.

Frustration

"There was an appeal by Reliance – one of the bidders that did not get the contract," Sipho Dube of Landfill Consult told News24.

"The City of Cape Town asked for quotations until they're finished with the appeal," he added.

News24 has seen a copy of a document from the City of Cape Town's finance supply chain management indicating that Landfill Consult's offer for tender 385S/2016/17 was successful.

The document includes the stipulation that the successful bidder has "no rights" until the 21-day appeal process has been finalised.

Dube said while city officials seem to understand what they are doing, he found the process frustrating.
 
"My sense is that they [city officials] are on top of it, but there's always the issue where Reliance appeals."

'Numerous' extensions

Dube said this was not the first time the company had appealed the awarding of the contract.

"They opposed the award when we were awarded it," he said.

"We're cheaper than Reliance and we have the infrastructure as well," he added.

Reliance said that that it managed seven sites over a 15-year period for the City of Cape Town and wanted clarity on the contract which has been extended.

Eddie Redelinghuys of Reliance told News24 that the current tender had been extended "numerous times", the last extension being for two years and one month.

However, Redelinghuys said the company had been told by the city that there would be no more extensions.

'Political corruption thing'

For Engar, the delay could cost him his business.

"We are the only youth company in the process and we imported our machines from Germany.

"I started my business in 2005, and my whole company depends on the outcome of this process."

He said that the tender was extremely valuable and took aim at Reliance for frustrating the process.

"This is more of a political corruption thing because the total tender is R238m over 30 months," he claimed.

"You cannot have a tender for 14 years and still cry over the tender."

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