Editorial: Same road with IPTS a dead end

This week it emerged that the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality is proposing to bypass tender processes to award contracts to companies that it hopes will get the troubled bus system up and running by April.

A confidential report from officials to the roads and transport portfolio committee on Tuesday proposed that the metro piggybacks on existing contracts with other cities which have successfully implemented the bus system.

The report was withdrawn from the meeting as councillors believed it was a matter for officials to deal with.

According to the report, officials believe that with its staff and resources, the metro is unable to deliver on the promise made by the new administration to launch the IPTS Cleary Park route in April.

The report stated: “The municipality can therefore capitalise on the available contracts secured by other cities.

“Not that the initiative will be beneficial only in terms of time but procuring services that are already tested given the cost involved in the identified outstanding services and their complexities.”

It must be noted that the law does allow for an organ of state to piggyback on an already existing contract with another, should there be a need to do so.

However, we have been here before.

At least R2.5-billion has already been invested into this failed project.

Only a handful of the contracts given over the years went through transparent tender processes.

The overwhelming majority did not, including those which piggybacked on existing contracts with other cities.

The result was a money wasting disaster.

While we appreciate the pressure the city is under to spend the R93.1-million budget from the national Treasury by the end of June, going down the same road that got us into this mess can never be justified.

The metro must up its game in this regard and come up with a better, transparent solution to get those buses on the road, as promised, by April.

A rehash of the same methods that made this system an epic fail simply won’t cut it.

Instead, they could throw more money down the drain and prove yet again to be an insult to commuters who desperately need this bus system to work.

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