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Jan 29, 2007

King Shaka airport tender case postponed

© Reuse this The Pietermaritzburg High Court hearing into the validity of a legal challenge brought by construction group Grinaker-LTA against the tender process for the erection of a new airport to be built north of Durban has been postponed.

MD Eddie du Rand told Engineering News Online over the telephone that the hearing had been postponed because Dube TradePort was late in submitting its answer affidavit.

Grinaker-LTA's parent company, Aveng CEO Carl Grim said that, although it was yet to be finalised, the hearing would now probably take place in the second half of February.

“They are testing a number of dates,” he said.

However, Grim stressed that he hoped the judge would be able to reach a decision soon, as it was urgent for construction on the project to begin.

In December, the Ilembe consortium, led by Group Five and Wilson Bayly Holmes-Ovcon, was named as the preferred bidder to build the King Shaka airport, which will replace the existing Durban International Airport.

The Indiza group, which included Grinaker-LTA, was reportedly not considered because it did not meet certain tender requirements.

Both consortia prequalified for the tender in April 2006.

Grinaker-LTA, however, has claimed that the correct tender processes were not followed and that its document was unfairly excluded.

Grim said that the Ilembe consortium was appointed the preferred bidder, without Indiza group's bid having been fairly adjudicated.

“There are certain processes that need to happen when deciding on the preffered bidder, such as discussing the bids with the tenderer,” Grim stated. “This, among other things, didn't happen.”

The Dube TradePort incorporated, as its anchor component, the King Shaka International Airport.

The first step of the project would include the aeronautical footprint, the King Shaka International Airport, which will include a four-million-passenger-a-year terminal, runway, air-traffic control tower, fuel farm and related infrastructure.

The second step would be the trade zone, with full customs and excise facilities and bonded areas.

The new airport would be built, owned and operated by Airports Company South Africa (Acsa), while the Dube Tradeport would develop the nearby trade zone.

The Dube TradePort would see the establishment of an exciting state-of-the-art export development incorporating a new air platform linked with the seaports of Durban and Richards Bay, the company's website said.

Edited by: Matthew Hill
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
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