THE eThekwini Bid Adjudication Committee (BAC) has rejected the unsolicited bid to develop the Virginia Airport site. On Wednesday, the BAC announced at an open public meeting that they were accepting the recommendation made by National Treasury to reject the proposal on the basis that it did not comply with the requirements of accepting an unsolicited bid as per section 37 of the eThekwini Supply Chain Management (SCM) Policy.
In 2015, the City said the airport would be replaced by a R6.1-billion development from Seaworld Investments Holdings (Pty) Ltd which would have comprised of a hotel, upmarket residential houses as well as leisure and related developments. Operators were told they would be given a three year lease after which time they would have to move to Scottburgh on the South Coast.
The news has been welcomed by Durban North ward councillor, Shaun Ryley, who hailed the decision a victory for both residents and the airport operators.
“The decision of the BAC today has vindicated our assertion that the bid itself, as well as the decision to even consider it – was completely irrational and fraught with non-compliance with the SCM policy. We are not opposed to development in the city of Durban so long as it follows the correct process and it is open to everybody.
“This whole process has only succeeded in doing one thing – that is to stifle investment in the Virginia Airport for the past six years in order to make the facility seem unfeasible. The airport has the potential to be a significant contributor to the economy of this city and the municipality should be looking at ways to ensure its viability. This decision can only be described as a victory for accountability and transparency,” Ryley said.
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