Toll project to employ about 90% South Africans

Posted On Wednesday, 30 March 2011 02:00 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
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Although the tender for the Open Road Tolling system project was awarded to a foreign company, more than 90% of staff on the project will be South African.

Sbusiso NdebeleAlthough the tender for the Open Road Tolling (ORT) system project was awarded to a foreign company, more than 90% of staff on the project will be South African, Transport Minister Sbu Ndebele said on Tuesday.

"It can be reported that 99 percent of ETC JV staff for the operations of the system will be South Africans. Furthermore, during the construction of the civil works, 20,000 direct jobs were created," said Ndebele.

"This project has therefore contributed to job creation and will continue to do so," he said.

He was responding to a question in the National Assembly by Anton Alberts of the Freedom Front Plus.

Alberts asked the minister why the tender for the management of the collection of toll fees for the ORT was awarded to a consortium of which a foreign company was the majority shareholder and not to a local company.

ETC JV, a joint venture comprising one local and two foreign companies, was granted a R6,22 billion tender to implement and run the Gauteng road tolling system.

Swedish and Austrian branches of Kapsch TrafficCom, an international supplier of intelligent transportation systems, hold stakes of 40 percent and 25 percent of ETC JV respectively. TMT Services & Supplies, a South African company, holds 35 percent.

Ndebele said the tender was awarded to ETC JV because it had submitted a tender offer which was more than R2 billion cheaper than the next lowest tender offer and because the equipment and software to be used in the project was not locally available.

He said the SA National Roads Agency Limited also required foreign companies of ETC JV to put up guarantees in excess of R1 billion in support of their ability to perform their obligations.

This amount was "far in excess" of that which could be offered by any South African company in this sector, he said.

To ensure that South Africans benefited from the project, the contract required the contractor to continuously transfer skills and ownership and employ South Africans in all positions throughout the lifespan of the project.

Ndebele said these requirements would be monitored and the contractor would receive stiff penalties for failing to adhere to the requirements and commitments made.

"The contract has very specific measures and penalties to ensure that the contractor fulfil its contractual obligations. This project has contributed to job creation and will continue to do so."

He said tender process was in line with South Africa's commitment to attract investment and skills and that local companies were not excluded from the tender process.

The tender was awarded through a public tender process taking into account the available skills in South Africa.

The objective was to ensure that a quality product would be delivered, said Ndebele.

 

Last modified on Tuesday, 29 October 2013 20:46

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