ZESCO Limited has picked and awarded Zimbabwean and South African companies to supply and deliver 9 and 12 metre wooden poles.
About USD107million was set aside to purchase wooden poles to dismantle over 67,000 outstanding connections.
At its procurement committee meeting held on 2nd June, 2022, ZESCO picked as the best evaluated bidders;
1. ZAR 66,306,175.00 Timber Quality Timbers of 16 Impala Street, Industrial Tzaneen, Limpopo Province.
2. USD 2,824,145.00 Capital Timber Ltd, Standard Number 5986, Nyakameta Industrial Site, Mutare, Zimbabwe
3. ZAR37,249,400.00 – R & B Timbers ( Pty), Main Bizana Road,, Harding KwaZulu-Natal Natal Province, South Africa
4. USD 1,298,172.00 Hotspeck Enterprises (Pty)limited, Stand 6020, Nyakamete Industrial Limited, Mutare, Zimbabwe.
5. USD 1,129,715.00 -Border Timber Limited, 1 Aberdeen Road, Nyakamete Industrial Site, Mutare, Zimbabwe
6. USD1, 169,690.0 Vuka Timber (PTY) Limited, No.1. Main Road, P.O BOX 45,Commondale 2385, Mpumalanga, South Africa.
Meanwhile, Energy Minister Peter Kapala says the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA) has cleared ZESCO over its decision to procure wooden poles from Zimbabwean and South African companies.
Mr. Kapala says the use of Limited Bidding procurement method by ZESCO to acquire the treated wooden poles was within the law.
He explained that ZESCO relied on Section 42(2) of the Public Procurement Act No. 8. of 2020, which states that, when there is an urgent need for the goods, works or services and engaging open bidding would be impractical, limited bidding procurement method would be used.
And the Energy Minister has disclosed that local suppliers, like ZAFFICO still have running contracts to supply ZESCO with poles provided they have the capacity, their poles will be absorbed by ZESCO promptly and paid for.
He further notes that the local Zambian manufacturers of poles did not need to join the issued tender as their supplies were already being bought and the tender was meant to bring in additional poles.
“At the height of debates about the procurement of poles by ZESCO for its connection programme, an impression was made that Zambian businesses were being ignored and the priority was to get poles from outside the country. What was not being truthfully said was that local suppliers, like ZAFFICO, had (and still have) running contracts with ZESCO and as long as they had the capacity, their poles would be absorbed by ZESCO promptly and paid for.,”
Mr. Kapala said the local Zambian manufacturers of poles did not need to join the issued tender as their supplies were already being bought and the tender was meant to bring in additional poles.
“When ZESCO issued the tender, it needed about 150,000 poles to clear all connections that are pending but it only issued a tender of 40,000 poles to be sourced from Zimbabwe and South Africa. This meant that the remaining 110,000 could be filled by Zambian entities where these existed and had the requisite capacity or even other foreign entities depending on capacity and timing and also cost. The plan is to have the least cost in buying the poles by cutting off middlemen and getting the poles from from producers.”
“Our first quarter commitment and plans to ensure all 67,000 pending connections to ZESCO are cleared by the end of this year (by 31st December 2022) and to have universal access (100% coverage) to electricity for our people by 2030 is unwavering. Dismantling of this backlog of connection applications is ongoing and am happy to say we are getting there. More than 7,000 connections have already been done through standard connections and the remaining ones are construction connections that need poles and/or transformers and other materials. A number of construction connections have also been done.”
He said, “Additionally, while the talk was that ZESCO was not acquiring ZAFFICO poles, ZESCO and ZAFFICO had meetings to discuss the supply of poles. The exchange of ideas occurred at board level with ZESCO Board Chair Mr Vickson Ncube meeting his counterpart at ZAFFICO in the company of ZESCO MD Eng. Victor Mapani and other members of ZESCO senior management.”
“It was therefore not surprising that, last month (in May 2022), the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA) cleared ZESCO over its decision to procure wooden poles from Zimbabwean and South African companies, stating that the use of Limited Bidding procurement method by ZESCO to acquire the treated wooden poles was within the law. ZPPA Director General Idah Chulu said that ZESCO relied on Section 42(2) of the Public Procurement Act No. 8. Of 2020, which states that, when there is an urgent need for the goods, works or services and engaging open bidding would be impractical, limited bidding procurement method would be used,” Mr Kapala said.
“In the energy sector, we insist that Zambian companies come first in procurement. However, this will not be done for political expediency. Parastatals will not be abused by politics like before. Strategic objectives of institutions will be respected so they deliver for our people. Our people deserve better and someone has to care. And we care.”
Source: Lusaka times