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Transnet bid process for locomotives manipulated, Zondo commission told

The state capture commission of inquiry has heard how certain costs related to locomotives were disregarded during the bid evaluation process in order to favour a Chinese manufacturer but were slipped in later after the contract was awarded.

A screengrab of former Transnet strategy manager Francis Callard appearing at the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture on 20 May 2019.

PRETORIA – The state capture commission of inquiry has heard how certain costs related to locomotives were disregarded during the bid evaluation process in order to favour a Chinese manufacturer but were slipped in later after the contract was awarded.

Former Transnet engineer Francis Callard testified how the bid process for 1,064 locomotives was manipulated and the offer accepted by Transnet was not a true reflection of the actual cost.

He explained how bidders were asked to submit a quote which excluded the cost of using Transnet engineering as the main sub-contractor but this expense was later included.

Callard said the result of China North Rail excluding the cost of using Transnet engineering was to place it first in the bidding process.

He explained to deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo what the “best and final offer” or bafo, refers to and how it was misleading in this instance.

The Chinese manufacturer was awarded the tender.

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