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Council accused of dirty tricks

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Independent Newspapers

The eThekwini municipality has been temporarily interdicted from advertising, processing or awarding certain tenders.

The eThekwini municipality has been temporarily interdicted from advertising, processing or awarding tenders for the transportation or removal of waste-water sludge.

It has been given until June 19 to provide the Pietermaritzburg High Court with reasons as to why the order should not be made final, pending the outcome of another application, to be brought by Aaliqah Waste Management, relating to the matter.

The La Lucia-based waste company took the municipality to court when it found out that a tender it won in 2010 was re-advertised recently, apparently in a different form.

Aaliqah director Sadhasevan Pillay said in court papers that during 2010, a tender notice for a project for the “transportation of waste-water sludge” was placed in the newspapers and when it came to his attention, he decided to bid for the tender and was successful.

After he had been notified that he had been awarded the tender, no other written contract had been entered into between him and the municipality. The tender project was to run from April 2012 for 12 months and the company was to be paid R296 400 a month.

This month, Pillay noticed that the municipality had put out a tender described as a long-term contract for “the removal of waste-water sludge for compositing or pelletising”.

The closing date for applicants was June 29. From the description of the advert, it appeared to him that it was the same project for which he had been awarded the tender.

“There is no doubt in my mind that the first respondent (the municipality) has deliberately concealed the new tender process from me and has employed dirty tactics in an attempt to sideline the applicant’s (the waste company’s) right to the initial award. In fact, I now believe that they are at the stage of awarding the tender to another third party,” he said. Pillay added that at no stage had he been informed that the tender he had been awarded was cancelled.

The municipality had not yet filed replying papers.

In December 2011, the eThekwini ombudsman recommended that Aaliqah Waste Management should return to the Verulam waste-water treatment works immediately because of the “imminent threat of pollution” to the Umdloti River posed by overflowing sewage works.

Pillay had complained to ombudsman that he had been prevented by the municipality from rendering waste disposal services in terms of his contract. - The Mercury


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