Establishment of CESA Litigation Fund

The high level of fraud and corruption taking place without condemnation and fear of retribution related to procurement in the construction sector has necessitated the creation of a ‘War Chest’ by Consulting Engineers South Africa (CESA).

The aim of the CESA War Chest is to challenge procurement non-compliance in the public sector, in particular.

Mounting legal challenges against procurement non-compliance is a critical function that invariably leads to costly legal appointments and litigation. Hence the CESA Board has approved the creation of a dedicated fund for this purpose.

An example is a case at hand where a district municipality, involved in the awarding of two tenders to a firm which submitted the 17th and 18th highest priced bids, disqualified approximately 15 CESA member firms on the grounds that they did not meet quality requirements. When the municipal manager eventually responded to CESA’s correspondence in this regard, he was arrogant, unrepentant and dared CESA to institute a legal challenge.

Many avenues to contest issues of procurement non-compliance such as the mis-award of tenders have been explored and employed, with varying degrees of success. Initially CESA corresponded with public sector clients highlighting instances of non-compliance and requested the implementation of remedial measures to comply with the Construction Industry Development Board (cidb) and allied legislation dealing with procurement in the construction sector. Taking a client to Court is a last resort; after all other avenues have been explored and exhausted.

CESA participates  in  and/or  contributes  to  the enactment of laws that directly or indirectly impact on the consulting engineering industry and that, while such laws  may be in place,  CESA remains  vigilant  and acts appropriately  and decisively  where  there is contravention  of such or of the spirit  and intent of the Constitution.