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Cape Town - The city has found that the awarding of a R700 million architectural tender for the expansion of the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) was irregular.
The City of Cape Town has handed a forensic report recommending that the CTICC board bring disciplinary action against three of the centre’s staff who were involved with awarding the tender to the Public Protector.
The Public Protector requested the investigation last year after unsuccessful bidders alleged the awarding of the tender to Architectural Design was illegal.
Report copies have been handed to the board for consideration, as well as to mayor Patricia de Lille and MEC for Economic Affairs Alan Winde.
Priya Reddy, spokeswoman for deputy mayor Ian Neilson, said the report recommended that the board consider cancelling the contract.
Unsuccessful bidders voiced complaints over the awarding of the tender in March last year. CTICC chief executive Rashid Toefy, however, said the tender “was awarded following a strict two-stage bidding process complying with the Municipal Finance Management Act”.
Greg Truen, a director at Stefan Antoni Olmesdahl Truen Architects - which entered an unsuccessful bid for the tender - was one of the main voices of dissent.
At the time, he complained the company which had scored the lowest points according to the CTICC’s own criteria, had got the tender.
It emerged that Architectural Design had been involved in producing drawings for the tender specifications, a practice which was “very irregular”, Truen said.
“It is now around 18 months since those complaints were raised,” he said.
“The findings report means the tender needs to be cancelled and advertised again, meaning the completion of the building project will be delayed by a year or a year and a half.
“The cost to Cape Town’s economy due to this delay is going to be in the range of R100 million.”
Zeenat Parker, spokesman for the CTICC, said the board welcomed the report and noted it had not found any instances of “fraud and corruption”.
“The board of Convenco takes findings of irregular procedures seriously and have established a process to evaluate the findings and consider the recommendations.
Parker said the board would comment once it had completed an internal process of evaluating the report.