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BANK TENDER AND USHAKA SPONSORSHIP
 Statement by City Manager, Dr Michael Sutcliffe:
 
This matter was initially raised verbally by Councillor Tex Collins at the City’s Executive Committee meeting held on Tuesday, 8 February 2011, regarding the award of this tender. A response was provided.
 
However, this was followed by a report on the front page of the Daily News dated 9 February 2011. This article unfortunately sensationalised the issue. Accordingly, I wish to present the salient facts around the issue:-
 
1. Prior to the inclusion of the municipal entities (Ushaka and ICC) into a composite City-wide tender for the provision of banking services, Ushaka Marine World enjoyed the sponsorship of two of the big banks in South Africa.
 
2. To preserve this revenue source, the sponsorship requirement was included as a tender condition in the composite tender.
 
3. The tender was advertised on 28 August 2008 and approved by the BID Adjudication Committee on 14 April 2010.
 
4. All the banks who submitted proposals, namely Absa Bank, First National Bank, Nedbank and Standard Bank, accepted this requirement and tendered accordingly. Hence, there is nothing irregular about the sponsorship requirement.  
 
5. We went out to tender and the award was made in terms of our transparent Supply Chain Management (SCM) process whereby the BID Adjudication Committee makes the final award for a tender and not the Council. This tender was subject to a very rigorous adjudication process with ample evidence to support this assertion. Hence, there was nothing irregular about the awarding of this tender, and this certainly does not constitute irregular expenditure.
 
6. The above assertion is also backed up by the fact that none of the unsuccessful banks have appealed against the award of the tender, including our previous bankers, FNB. I would suggest that as all the banks that tendered are credible organisations, that if the process or the award was not transparent, nor credible, they would most certainly have appealed against it.   
 
7. In addition, it must be clarified that the awarding of the contract was not subject to the sponsorship being confirmed by the Standard Bank in any way whatsoever. There was no “negotiation” around the tender or sponsorship. The SCM process is very clear - specifications are advertised; tenders are received; evaluations take place against predetermined scoring criteria and an award is made. The process also allows for appeals to be considered from unsuccessful bidders. Nobody "negotiated" a deal.
 
8. The proposals from all four banks concerned were technically and contractually to specification. The only distinguishing factor amongst the four banks came down to the pricing for the services required by the Municipality. In this regard, Standard Bank came in with the lowest tender by far.  
 
Issued by the eThekwini Municipality’s Communications Unit. For more information contact Municipal Spokesperson Thabo Mofokeng on 031 311 4820 or 0827317456 or e-mail mofokengthabo@durban.gov.za
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