Chinese-Namibian venture loses battle over N$185m tender bid

Beatrix de Jager

The High Court in Windhoek has thrown out an urgent application over a tender bid by the close corporation Adaptive Building Land Construction in a joint venture with China State Construction Engineering Corporation.

This comes after a tender review application by the joint venture was dismissed by the Review Panel on public procurement.

The bid was for the construction of the Naute-Keetmanshoop water pipeline replacement and ancillary works on behalf of NamWater. The construction contract was awarded to JDN Civil Engineering in a joint venture with New Era Investment, which submitted a bid in an amount of about N$185 million.

The court struck the application from its roll after finding that court documents were not delivered to other bidders cited as parties in the case as required by the court’s rules.

Acting judge Beatrix de Jager also found that the applicant failed to include the JDN Civil Engineering and New Era Investment joint venture as a necessary party in the matter.

In her ruling on the application, De Jager said the urgency of an application does not excuse parties from complying with established rules and procedures.

“Launching an urgent application does not entitle a party to do as it pleases and disregard all forms and services to suit such party’s preference,” De Jager remarked.

The judge rejected an argument that time constraints justified deviating from standard service procedures.

Central Procurement Board of Namibia (CPBN) spokesperson Johanna Kambala said in a statement yesterday that the bid of Adaptive Building Land Construction CC and China State Construction Engineering Corporation was disqualified from the bidding process for several reasons.

She said the bidder provided a reference letter for a project in similar works completed,but the letter did not indicate the project value or give a brief description of the scope of work done as required in the instructions to bidders.

Secondly, the bidder provided a reference letter and take-over certificate for another project, but that letter did not specify the diameter of a certain pipe as required in the instruction to bidders.

“Adaptive Building Land Constructions approached the Review Panel to set aside the CPBN’s decision in awarding the bid in question to JDN Civil Engineering in joint venture with New Era Investment,” Kambala recorded.

“The review panel dismissed this review application in favour of the CPBN at its hearing held on 19 December 2023,” Kambala said.

She said this procurement project is critical to the livelihood of people in the south, as the Naute Dam supplies water to Keetmanshoop and its surrounding areas.

“With the High Court ruling, the CPBN will now forge ahead to award the contract with a value of N$184,9 million,” Kambala said.

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