According to the Johannesburg daily Business Day, Transnet has vowed to fight 'vigorously' a legal challenge that sought to stop it awarding a tender for 100 new locomotives. 'Electro Motive Sibanye, the preferred bidder in a tender to supply 212 diesel locomotives that Transnet cancelled early in 2009, had sought an urgent interdict preventing Transnet from awarding the tender for 100 locomotives.
'Electro Motive Sibanye is a joint venture between Electro Motive Diesel, the US-based locomotive maker, and Sibanye Trade and Services, a black empowerment company that focuses on locomotives and spares.
'A legal representative for Electro Motive Sibanye said the tender for 100 locomotives had in effect replaced the tender for 212 locomotives.
'He said the judge had reserved judgment in a case that was heard at the Johannesburg High Court on Thursday [5 March]. He said he expected a ruling this week. The legal representative, who did not want to be named, said Transnet had formally informed Electro Motive Sibanye about the cancellation of the tender for 212 locomotives some time this year.
'He said Transnet should give his client a chance to respond to concerns relating to this tender, which were raised by the parastatal, before Transnet proceeded to award the tender for 100 locomotives.
'Transnet said it had'terminated some time ago' a tender for the acquisition of 212 diesel locomotives after investigations had revealed procedural irregularities that would have made it unlawful to award the tender.
''Our decision to withdraw the 212 tender was not taken lightly,' Transnet said in a statement, adding it had been advised by two leading senior counsel and Ernst & Young, which investigated the group's underlying concerns regarding the tender process'.
[ The original tender was issued on 18 September 2006. In August 2007, Electromotive Diesel (EMD) was named preferred bidder for a contract estimated to be worth R6 billion, and negotiations commenced. These were discontinued early in 2009 and new tenders for 100 locos were invited from three nominated OEMs. - editor Railways Africa