Sanral receives bids of up to R11.4bn for e-toll management – Outa

Organisation claims one bidder seems to have been set up specifically to throw its hat in the ring.
Director names indicate that the newly-formed company is linked to outgoing contractor Electronic Tolling Collections. Image: Moneyweb

One of the three companies that submitted bids in response to the SA National Roads Agency (Sanral) tender for the continued management of e-tolls was allegedly only registered as a business days after the tender was first advertised.

Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) CEO Wayne Duvenage said on Tuesday that Kusa Kokutsha, which submitted a bid of R7.548 billion, appeared to have been set up specifically to bid for the Sanral contract.

Duvenage said Kusa Kokutsha was only registered as a business on August 26.

Sanral originally published the tender in the Government Tender Bulletin on August 8. It was republished on August 16, with a closing date of September 5. Prospective bidders had to attend a compulsory tenderer’s clarification meeting on August 19.

No track record

Duvenage said the date on which Kusa Kokutsha was registered indicated that it did not have a track record as a business and that through its directors, it’s linked to outgoing contractor Electronic Tolling Collections (ETC).

“Thus this appears to be ETC in a new guise,” he said.

The other two bidders for the tender, according to Outa, go by the names of Phambili joint venture (JV) and SAeTO.

It said Phambili submitted a bid of R11.399 billion, while SAeTO did not list a bid amount.

Insufficient information on bidders

Duvenage said business registrations for the Phambili joint venture and SAeTO could not immediately be traced because there is insufficient information on the Sanral document to identify them.

The tender for the continued management of e-tolls was issued by Sanral because its existing contract with ETC was last year extended by a year until December 2.

Sanral confirmed to Moneyweb on Monday that it’s evaluating tenders it received for the continued management of e-tolls.

Read: Sanral evaluating tenders for new e-toll management contract

Sanral spokesperson Vusi Mona said that in accordance with the tender programme, a new contractor must be appointed to commence work by December 3.

Mona said the contract is for a period of 72 months, with an option to extend for another 24 months.

“Provision has been made for a handover period in the tender programme, to ensure that there is no interruption of e-toll services,” he said.

Risk of wasteful expenditure

However, Outa warned on Tuesday that Sanral risked incurring wasteful expenditure by entering into a new contract, because the Gauteng e-toll decision is still subject to a legal challenge.

Duvenage said for Sanral to enter into any contract while the country awaits Cabinet’s decision on the future of the e-tolls makes no sense.

“However, that is not Sanral’s only problem because there is still a court case pending on the lawful objection to non-payment.”

“Should the public be found not liable for payment of e-tolls, the already-defunct scheme will be dead in the water and the country may be legally bound to a contract for up to six years.

“This may very well become a matter of fruitless and wasteful expenditure for which civil society or even the Auditor-General could hold an individual to account.

Evidence of failure spanning six years

“We can’t for one minute understand why Cabinet is taking as long as it is to make an easy decision to scrap this defunct scheme, especially after six years of empirical evidence of failure,” he said.

Read: Sanral e-toll revenue slumps 63% in year to March 2019

Ayanda Allie Paine, a spokesperson for Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula, told Moneyweb on Monday the task team report on e-tolls has been sent through for Cabinet processes and her understanding is that e-tolls will be included in the discussions by Cabinet “at some point before the end of the year”.

Paine stressed that everything continues as normal until Cabinet’s final announcement on e-tolls, adding that this also means Sanral would be remiss to not issue any tender or advertise anything in line with its processes.

Read: E-toll accounts could be used to pay for parking, licence renewals

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Another example of established rules being blatantly ignored. The last time I conducted any business within the government supply chain was in 2004. I was working for a government department at the time. Suppliers / tenderers had to have fixed addresses and proven track records of competence and reliability. People like me had to visit the premises, conduct in-depth inspections and submit written motivations as to the candidate’s suitability to supply the department concerned. That was 10 years after the new government took over, remember.
These days, anything goes with any unproven candidate being allowed to tender.
The present delays appear, to almost anyone with half a brain, to be allowing time for the usual bribes to be negotiated.

“That was 10 years after the new government took over” and then the useless zuma regime took over and messed up anything that was still in working order

There you go. The roads cost about 20bn but that was with considerable padding of costs due to BEE, corruption and the like.

So the true cost was probably quite a bit lower. Now comes a tender to manage the tolls at 11bn plus.

Ie, something like the true cost of the roads in the first place. What possible reason could there be for insanity on this scale?

Only grand scale corruption seems like a plausible answer.

Yep, the whole current tenders absolutely stink of corruption. Thank you OUTA for revealing this. And I would suggest that anyone who doesn’t have an etag ensures they pay at least a modest amount on debit order to OUTA. We will need the big guns to fight SANRAL when the new bidders, having paid many billions for the ‘privilege’ start trying to enforce payments from us.

Indeed, I echo your call for funding. There have to be at least 100,000 unsubscribed motorists that can afford to subscribe for a modest debit order of at least R100 per month. It’s easy. Go to their website, click the “Join Now” button and supply details. It will take less than 5 minutes of your time. Then ask a friend or family member to replicate what you have done. Simple. Made me feel better by doing something over and above my moaning & complaining.

The people in charge of this debacle has ADCOM.

Abnormally dormant condition of mind.

Again the ANC ignores the blatant tenderpreneurship and state capture by cadres. Apparently its only wrong if you get caught.

Surely the contract would be illegal and thus deemed null & void? Since neither gov’t nor whoever the other party(contractor) may be, would not able to dispute knowledge of the fact that the legality of e-tolls were unresolved upon entering into the said agreement.

Of course, it’s clear to see gov’t stance on e-tolls. However! The delays may also be intentional and what may actually be at play here is another scandal, where the deal purposefully falls through and funds awarded have vanished through a front company of sorts.

The looting continues unabated. Corruption is alive and well and being smoothly managed by the Corruptheid State out of Lootfreely House. Ace’s Criminal Cadre Committee well in control while trying to remain below the radar while Squirrel’s marketing facade rages on.

Paining, very much agree with your reply to my comment re doing a debit order for Outa. I have subscribed R120 per month for years now and although I only use the tolled routes very occasionally, I really enjoy tossing Sanral’s etoll notices into the dustbin. It will be nice that if ever Sanral are stupid enough to try and strongarm me to make payments (some of which are now already well past the legal payment time), I would have powerful support in court.The AARTO database is a mess, the whole etoll debacle was founded on crooked principles (the overseas companies have already been PROVEN overseas to have paid bribes), so OUTA lawyers have a very strong case.

South African taxpayers…get ready to watch (at least) R7.548 billion sail off into the sunset and into the pockets of tenderpreneurship and state capture.

“South Africa, how did you go bankrupt?”
“Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly.”

Sounds like another opaque deal trying to be foisted onto the public, details of which should be disclosed for public scrutiny.
This is public money that is being targeted. Why is SANRAL not running the system itself at cost and how do we know that there are no exchange risks involved, either through direct or indirect structural channels?
Public scepticism and loss of trust will be ongoing!

End of comments.

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