The eThekwini municipality can again advertise, process and award tenders for waste-water sludge.

The eThekwini municipality can again advertise, process and award tenders for the transportation or removal of waste-water sludge after the lifting of an interdict preventing it from doing so.

On Thursday the Pietermaritzburg High Court dismissed an application brought by a La Lucia company Aaliqah Waste Management, seeking the interdict which had been temporarily granted in May.

Aaliqah director Sadhasevan Pillay had complained in court papers that a tender he was awarded in 2010 had been recently re-advertised, apparently in a different form.

The chief legal adviser in the municipality Alisande Bradshaw, disputed the allegation, saying that the advertised contract was different.

Pillay’s contract, she said, had been for one year and for the removal of sludge in Verulam only, whereas the recently advertised tender was long-term and for sludge removal in a number of different areas.

She said that Aaliqah had been awarded a tender in 2010 but it had never been implemented because there were serious concerns about the validity and accuracy of some of the documents contained in the tender submissions.

“The tender ought not to have been awarded to the applicant,” she said.

She admitted that Aaliqah had not been notified that its tender had been cancelled, but said the contract had expired by the “effluxion of time”.

She added that the effect of the order sought by the company would be to prevent the municipality from awarding a tender for the disposal of sludge at any treatment works in its jurisdiction.

“Such an order will have far-reaching consequences for the municipality and the inhabitants of Durban, as the failure to remove sludge will lead to pollution of the land, waterways and streams,” said Bradshaw.