Cape Town - Civil Engineers and building contractors have slammed the City for taking too long to award tenders, impacting investment and job creation.
The South African Forum of Civil Engineering Contractors (SAFCEC) Western Cape regional manager, Rudolf Murry, said: “The process to award tenders takes very long and when the contracts are awarded, it inconveniences the contractors. We are frustrated by this. We would like to see the time processing tenders be shortened. We have lost huge amounts of work and money.”
The Western Cape Property Development Forum (WCPDF) chairperson, Deon van Zyl, said instead of mayor Dan Plato showcasing its pothole repair campaign, he should focus on addressing the City’s infrastructure planning and procurement crisis, which he said was the real reason for the plethora of potholes in the first place.
Van Zyl said the campaign had angered a number of organisations, particularly those representing civil engineers and contractors.
“Maintenance starts by knowing, quite literally, the real conditions on the ground – the facts. However, the City’s own Comprehensive Integrated Transport Plan 2018-2023 states that its most recent maintenance data stems from 2013 – the data is therefore seven years old,” he said.
According to the forum, there are a number of recent examples of delays in processing tenders received from members since the City’s announcement was issued, and dealing only with road works.
The first was a Term Tender for Road Rehabilitation, Resurfacing and Ancillary Works originally advertised in May last year. With a closing date at the time of just over one month, it took the City 16 months to assess the applications and appoint six contractors for the work in October, with a commencement date of one month later. The second involved a R4-million contract advertised as a tender in June last year and only awarded this month.
“The feedback that we are receiving from members is that investment and job creation is directly being impacted” said Van Zyl.
The City said teams were working with an external contractor on eradicating a backlog of more than 500 outstanding pothole notifications in Kraaifontein, Brackenfell, Durbanville and Bellville.
Mayco member for Transport Felicity Purchase said: “The City follows a structured process… The availability of various City officials and independent due diligence consultants dictate the timeline.”