In nose211 it was reported that the DA-led City of Johannesburg appeared to have embraced a company they once labelled an ANC “crony” business by generously awarding them a R99-million contract just two months after taking office.
eValuations Enhanced Property Appraisals (noses202 & 203) won the tender contest to value the city’s 900,000- plus properties for the 2018 General Valuation Roll. These valuations are used to determine the monthly municipal rates payable by property owners.
Information on just how the contract came to be awarded is hard to come by. The city denied Noseweek’s Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) application to review the bidding process. Yet when asked for comment, the city’s communications office suggested Noseweek submit a PAIA application!
Noseweek has since successfully appealed their refusal.
In a letter received on Freedom Day from the office of Council Speaker Vasco da Gama, he said the city’s refusal had been “overruled and set aside” and that Noseweek would be granted access to “the information requested”. Noseweek will report on the contents in due course.
The first tender, for which eValuations provided the third-lowest bid, was mysteriously canned and when a second tender invitation was issued (which was in no material way different to the first) eValuations managed to shave R67 million off their price to come in with the lowest bids. The tender closed two days before the 2016 local elections – which the ANC in Johannesburg lost. The tender was still to be awarded.
Despite being offered ample time, the City failed to reply to Noseweek’s questions before our last article, only responding after our print deadline. Mayor Herman Mashaba’s press officer Luyanda Mfeka said in the statement:
“Please note that the service provider appointed to compile the General Valuation (GV) Roll 2018 is eValuations Enhanced Property Appraisals (Pty) Ltd. They were appointed through a competitive bidding process. The tender number for this work was A683, which was a replacement of tender A654. A654 was cancelled due to its validity period having expired.
“Indeed we were not comfortable with the work done by the service provider in compiling the GV Roll 2013. When the new administration took office, the tender process had already begun…
“The Executive Adjudication Committee approved the appointment on 4 October 2016 upon receiving the Bid Evaluation Committee recommendations which were based on functionality and pricing.
“It is also worth noting that the quality of the GV Roll 2013 was also compromised due to the late appointment of a service provider. This was exacerbated by the capacity constraints within the Valuations Department to perform adequate quality assurances. The service provider was given only eight months to compile GV Roll 2013.
“We had to put the interests of residents first by allowing the process to stay on track in terms of the timelines. We are also putting in place adequate risk mitigating interventions to ensure that deliverables of adequate quality are produced. We are improving the capacity of the Valuations Department and also putting together a supplementary valuations panel.
“Forensic investigations have been conducted in the Property Unit, some of which were reported on in the media. All these interventions are aimed at addressing the concerns that we had.”
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