The R1 billion Cape Town Foreshore Freeway project is on ice for about six months. This comes after the tender process was scrapped by the city.

The scrapping of the process follows disagreements from non-qualifying bidders on the evaluation process. The City says it will now use the cooling-off period to redraft the request for proposals, before the project can go out to tender again.

“The estimated cost at the time of completing those freeways was over R1 billion and we simply don’t have that funding and are unlikely to have it in the future so we were looking at a way of how to address the congestion and whether that meant completing the freeways or not but not using city funds to do so,” says City of Cape Town’s Brett Herro.

Two years ago the city sent out a call for proposals to developers. According to the city six proposals were received but only one qualified to go to Stage Two of the evaluation process. The rest fell out based on scoring.

According to the city, non-qualifying bidders were given an opportunity to oppose the decision. Based on their appeals the City Manager decided to cancel that request for proposals rather than asking the evaluation committee to start the process again.

“The evaluation of the tenders resulted in a one qualifying bidder only and the evaluation process was based on the evaluation criteria and what came in that process was that the criteria perhaps were not detailed enough,” adds Herron.

So the first round did not work out. The City Manager then alone cancelled that tender. He was not available for an on-camera interview.

But the cooling-off period of about six months, will now come into effect before the project goes out to tender again.

The Cape Chamber of Commerce has meanwhile lambasted the city for failing in this tender process, saying that the cancellation of a tender process would only be because the city itself fell short of legal requirements.

The Chamber says this has not only cost the local economy and investment. In future developers may be reluctant to tender for city projects.