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Forum ‘fights’ festival tender

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“Among the reasons for the rejection of bids was non-compliance with several issues, including tax matters.”

THE FRANCES Baard Business Forum has called for the tender that was awarded to host the Diamonds and Dorings music festival over the Easter weekend to be reversed and awarded to a consortium of locally-based companies.

The Sol Plaatje Municipality indicated yesterday that the successful bidder was a 50/50 joint venture between The Hive Entertainment and Investong.

Municipal spokesperson Sello Matsie said the tender was awarded after a thorough supply chain process was followed, where the successful bidder was found to have met the set criteria. He indicated that Hive Entertainment was a local company based in Kimberley.

“The municipality had a session with other locally-based companies who were unsuccessful in the bid, to provide them with feedback,” said Matsie. “Among the reasons for the rejection of bids was non-compliance with several issues, including tax matters.

Matsie stated that the joint venture was currently busy with the necessary logistics to ensure that the event would proceed smoothly.

“This year’s Diamond and Dorings festival is going ahead as planned at no cost to the municipality. We expect it to boost the economy of the city and we remain protective of our brand.”

Matsie reiterated the municipality’s commitment to promote local economic development and participation of locally-based companies.

“We definitely subscribe to all legislative requirements that seek to empower and support locally-based companies and will continue to do so. However, even when doing so, supply chain processes will continue to be applicable at all times, including legal requirements such as tax compliance from prospective applicants.”

He added that the municipality would be “pulling out all the stops” to ensure that the city is ready to host an event of this magnitude.

“Our teams responsible for maintenance, roads, sanitation and waterworks, including disaster management teams, have been activated for the event.”

The deputy chairperson of the Frances Baard Business Forum, Lesego Maris, said a meeting was held last night to discuss the “marginalisation and exclusion” of local businesses by local government in the Northern Cape.

“How can the municipality pledge support for local business when local contracts are awarded to companies outside the borders of the Province?” asked Maris.

“We want Sol Plaatje Municipality to form a consortium consisting of all the locally-based companies to host the Diamonds and Dorings festival.

“It is not fair that an outside company forms a joint venture with a local company or opens a satellite office in order to be awarded a tender. The municipality must show us that it is not up for sale to the highest bidder.”

Maris indicated that the business forum had never advocated for the festival to be stopped.

“The event has massive economic spin-offs. All we are asking for is that local business can also benefit. If the municipality does not consult with us, we will have to consider alternatives such as staging a shutdown.”