Phillip Sithole
Durban's iconic tower and the Virginia Airport projects have hit a snag after the disapproval of the tendering system by the bid adjudication committee (BAC).

Phillip Sithole, the city’s deputy city manager for economic development and planning, on Tuesday said the previous approach to the projects was not approved by the committee, and that the city needed an open tender process.

In his presentation to the city’s executive committee (Exco), Sithole said they would go back to the council and present amended concepts.

“Both projects were turned down by the BAC because we had not gone to open public-tender process and that could have opened the city up for court challenges,” Sithole said.

The Mercury, the Daily News’s sister paper, reported in 2016 that if the construction of the iconic tower, an 88-storey building, started this year, it would be operational in 2021.

The project was worth R7.3 billion with 5 000 construction jobs and an undetermined number of permanent job opportunities created.

“The extension of the promenade project worth over R200 million, for example, is under way. We are launching it next month,” Sithole said.

DA Exco member Heinz de Boer called for the speeding up of the projects, but questioned the need for the Virginia development. “I can’t understand our appetite to want to invest there. We need to look into trying to maintain it because we don’t have the money to move it,” De Boer said.

Sithole said all approvals at the Point Waterfront were in place, and that R30bn-R35bn would be invested over 15 years.

More than R100m would be invested in water reticulation.

“The municipality will handle the tendering process for water reticulation to improve the bulk water supply for the Point area, including the Point Waterfront. Investment for a R1.3bn residential component has been confirmed,” Sithole said.

Daily News