Anthony Benadie MPL
Provincial Leader – Mpumalanga
Mpumalanga Public Works MEC, Ms Dikeledi Mahlangu, must immediately make public all tender and bid adjudication documents and processes relating to Pilgrim’s Rest. As accusations of tender irregularities, nepotism and possible corruption continue to emerge, withholding the documents from the public domain is unthinkable.
As the 31 July eviction deadline draws near, public opposition to the questionable tender process followed by the department is escalating.
According to Section 217 of the Constitution, when government contracts for goods and services, it must do so in an equitable, transparent, competitive and cost-effective manner. If MEC Mahlangu is confident that her department has complied with this provision, she must release the documents, failure which will vindicate the concerns raised.
This being the case, I wrote to MEC Mahlangu this morning, requesting that all the documents relating to the Pilgrim’s Rest tender process officially be made available to me.
As such, I requested the following:
· A copy of the tender bulletin where the tenders were originally advertised in, as well as copies of any advertisements placed in newspaper publications, inviting interested parties to tender for premises in Pilgrim’s Rest;
· A comprehensive list of all the interested individuals/companies who submitted tenders/bids, per premises;
· A copy of each tender document as submitted by each bidder, for each premises advertised;
· A detailed copy of what requirements/criteria the department stipulated to which successful tenders/bids had to comply;
· The criteria and points allocation guideline used by the bid adjudication committee to determine the successful bidder in each instance;
· A copy of the minutes of the bid adjudication committee and a reflection of each of the scores attained by the respective bidders; and
· Copies of each contract or agreement between the department and the successful bidders.
The DA firmly believes that all documents relating to the Pilgrim’s Rest tender process is of absolute public interest and therefore must be released.
MEC Mahlangu has one opportunity, and one only, to explain why her department has failed to protect the livelihood of over 100 families, and why it should occur at the expense of one of Mpumalanga’s, and South Africa’s primary tourist attractions.