PRETORIA – The state capture commission of inquiry has heard how black economic empowerment criteria were removed from a Transnet locomotive tender to ensure China South Rail qualified to bid for the contract.
The submissions were made by attorney Tshiamo Sedumedi from MNS Attorneys, which was hired by the state-owned company’s board to investigate several irregular contracts worth billions of rand.
Sedumedi said after stage one of the bidding process to supply about 100 locomotives, China South Rail scored below the 60% threshold to proceed to stage two.
“During stage one of the evaluation, the officials who were tasked with implementing the provisions of the RFP, on their own accord, decided to amend the evolution criteria, by removing the required BBBEE scoring and creating what they called an option two evaluation.”
Sedumedi said that correspondence revealed that the Chinese company was already in talks with Transnet about the tender before it was publicly announced.
He said it was clear that the company received preferential treatment.