The preference for small and medium enterprise (SME) tenderers was overturned when the tender for the construction of bulk earthworks and services for the Windhoek Fresh Produce Hub in Wanaheda changed its notice mark.
The formal Government tender by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF) was first advertised, restricting participation to 100% Namibian-owned registered SMEs and Namibian nationals only while also limiting preference to tenderers who offer market-related prices and to Namibian corporations/nationals. The tender was launched in March.
However, as noted by the tender bulletin, the tender announcement was shortly changed in a follow-up notice, stating it was open to all tenderers but that preference would be granted to entities with equity participation of no less than 51%, owned by Namibian persons (previously disadvantaged Namibians) with no less than 30% ownership.
The tender received 11 bids of which two were Chinese companies - Quindao Construction Namibia, which is quite active on the local tender scene and China Henan International Corporation (CHICO), which is a large-scale parastatal foreign economic and trade enterprise. CHICO operates in 20 countries across Asia, Africa and Europe.
To stand a better chance at being awarded the N$160m tender, CHICO jointly-ventured with Namibian company, Gems Marketing and Communication, which is interestingly an all-advertising company, tendering in a construction bid.
Another aspect is that six out of the 11 bidders were all joint-ventures, such as Sinohydro Corporation and Palladium Investment.
Other JVs included Teya Investment#18/Tix Investment JV and Focus Engineering Services/Mop Architects.
The loners included Art Construction, Oluzizi Engineering Construction, as well as Namibia Cleaning Chemical Solutions, bidding with N$164.5m each, in an earthwork tender.