Raubex puts up fight for bridge repair tender 

Raubex, one of South Africa’s leading infrastructure development and construction companies, which has over the years scored several state tenders to the tune of billions of rands, tried in vain to stop a minor contractor from being awarded a contract to rebuild the railway bridge in Boksburg. 

The bridge was damaged in December 2022 when a fuel tanker carrying gas exploded underthe bridge in Boksburg, claiming 41 lives. 

The death toll included 12 healthcare workers who worked at nearby Tambo Memorial Hospital. The deadly accident saw the four railway lines, which form part of the Germiston, Daveyton, Dunswart and Springs corridor, severely damaged and requiring urgent and immediate repairs. 

The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) in May last year published a Request for Proposal (RFP), which was published in May 2023 for potential bidders. 

The contract was eventually awarded to an entity called Rea Letamisa Trading & Projects, to the value of R80-million. 

Raubex, which is worth about R5-billion on the JSE, then approached the court trying to interdict the contract, demanding that Prasa provide it with reasons for the rejection of its bid. 

The South Gauteng High Court said Raubex’s urgency was self-created as the tender was awarded in August 2023. 

“Before an urgent court makes a finding on the merits of an application it must be satisfied that it should be dealt with on the court’s urgent roll and that the applicant will not be afforded substantial redress at a hearing in due course. Although a delay in instituting proceedings will not necessarily preclude a party seeking urgent relief, it is indicative of the applicant’s attitude towards the matter and whether it believes it requires the  
court’s urgent attention,” reads the judgment. 

“In this matter, the applicant does not explain its delay in initiating the urgent application. The effect of the delay has resulted in the relief being sought by it being rendered nugatory. By the time the matter reached court, the instructions had already been given to the second respondent and the tender had been implemented.” 

Raubex, in its latest results, indicated its plans to turn its focus on securing private sector work amid a sluggish rollout of state-funded projects for roads and renewable energy. This as the company bids to reduce exposure to government infrastructure projects.  

Raubex operates throughout SA with divisions including materials handling and mining, construction materials, roads and earthworks, and infrastructure. It also has operations in Australia and the rest of Africa. It has a healthy order book of R20-billion in committed contracts and tenders. 

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