LRC. Bid review matter could frustrate delivery of furniture to schools in Eastern Cape: LRC and CCL intervene. Press release, April 14, 2014. Available at:

14 April 2014

On the 25 March 2013, the Legal Resources Cen­tre (LRC) issued a press state­ment on the fur­ni­ture bid mat­ter. The LRC, on behalf of the Cen­tre for Child Law (CCL), applied to urgently inter­vene in a mat­ter between Rick­shaw Trade and Invest 49 (Pty) Ltd and the East­ern Cape Depart­ment of Edu­ca­tion.

Rick­shaw is con­cerned about the law­ful­ness of a bid­ding process under­taken by the East­ern Cape Depart­ment of Edu­ca­tion to pro­cure school fur­ni­ture and has asked that the Depart­ment be inter­dicted from the order­ing, pay­ment and deliv­ery of fur­ni­ture until the law­ful­ness of the bid is decided upon by the East­ern Cape High Court.

It appears from doc­u­ments received by the LRC and CCL that the ten­der process was irreg­u­lar.      

An inter­dict, if granted, will have seri­ous impli­ca­tions on the deliv­ery of fur­ni­ture to thou­sands of learn­ers in the East­ern Cape who are cur­rently with­out a desk or chair. There is now a real prospect that the time­frame for fill­ing the back­log will not be met. The dead­line of 31 May 2014 was given in the mat­ter of Mad­zodzo[1].

In March, the LRC and CCL asked for a post­pone­ment of the appli­ca­tion hear­ing for three weeks and requested an oppor­tu­nity to file an affi­davit regard­ing this mat­ter. On 26 March 2014, the court granted a post­pone­ment of the Rick­shaw appli­ca­tion and an interim inter­dict pend­ing the hear­ing, which halted all future orders of fur­ni­ture.

At the hear­ing, which will take place on 14 April 2014, it will be deter­mined whether or not an interim inter­dict should be granted pend­ing a review of the pro­cure­ment process.

The LRC and CCL is con­cerned that the deliv­ery of fur­ni­ture is not delayed any fur­ther and that the order in Mad­zodza is ful­filled. On the other hand, the LRC is also con­cerned that there should not be abuse of the order to per­pe­trate mal­ad­min­is­tra­tion.

In view of the above, and fail­ing an ade­quate answer from the Depart­ment, we would urge the Court to order final relief at the hear­ing.

The LRC and CCL sub­mit in their papers that they view of the actions of the Depart­ment as exploita­tive of the court order. How­ever, we indi­cate our will­ing­ness to develop sug­ges­tions on future pro­cure­ment prac­tices, so as not to debil­i­tate future pro­cure­ment by the Depart­ment. One such sug­ges­tion may be judi­cial over­sight of pro­cure­ment activ­i­ties by the Depart­ment. 

[1] Mad­zodzo and seven oth­ers v The Min­is­ter of Basic Edu­ca­tion and four oth­ers (case num­ber 2144/2012).