The curious specs of the Plettenberg Bay mayor’s automotive tenders

The Bitou native municipality wants two new government sedans.

Specs for the 2 unnamed autos are barely suspicious. 


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The autos are to be leased over 36 months, as an alternative of being bought.

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Authorities automobile tenders have been a contentious motoring and public finance situation in South Africa.

The native automotive trade employs many and earns useful overseas forex, however that doesn’t excuse overspending on authorities fleet automobile purchases, with substandard tendering. 

It could seem that the Bitou native municipality (Plettenberg Bay) wants two new government sedans, for its government and deputy mayor.

Since Tito Mboweni’s announcement that authorities ministers have to function under an R800 000 buying ceiling for his or her automobiles, the expectation has been that every one authorities automobile buying will turn into extra meticulous.

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We reckon the Mayor’s necessities for a FWD drive is a base-spec Audi A4 (QuickPic)

Why two completely different units of tech specs?

Nevertheless, there appears to be a loophole since these two autos will not be for buy, however a young for a leasing interval over 36 months.

Perusing the tender paperwork for the Bitou mayoral fleet leases, issues do seem a contact odd. Specs set technical parameters for any authorities automobile buy, however the fulfilment framework of those new Bitou government sedan acquisitions have some unusual particulars. 

Each the manager and deputy mayoral autos are to be of a four-door sedan configuration, with a 5-star NCAP score.

The absolute best security score is inarguably an anchor function of any automobile shopping for consideration determination, however there are a lot of completely different NCAP organisations. The tender paperwork do not stipulate whether or not these sedans ought to be 5-star Euro, Latin or ASEAN NCAP. 

The subsequent curious requirement is color.

Most authorities automobile tenders demand white, as this hue is confirmed to help residual automobile values over time, and in different circumstances would make it simpler to promote a white automotive with superior mileage. That’s the reason that almost all authorities bakkies, vans, vans and sedans you see are completed in white.

Bitou municipality needs its leased mayoral autos in two completely different colors. The deputy will get white, whereas the manager mayor goes gray. 

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We imagine the deputy mayor’s automobile can solely be a Mercedes-Benz C-Class or a BMW three Sequence (Wheels24 / Janine Van der Publish)

Extra energy to the deputy

The automobiles are additionally required to have completely different wheel sizes, with the mayor needing to roll 225/45 profile tyres, on 17-inch wheels, whereas his deputy wants 235/55 tyres on bigger 18-inch wheels. Run-flat tyres are solely listed as a technical requirement for the deputy mayor’s new sedan, not the manager mayor’s. 

Full-size spare wheels are listed as a requirement, which is completely wise contemplating South Africa’s potholed roads, however why cannot each autos have the identical wheel measurement and tyre necessities? 

Maybe the strangest of all specification necessities within the tender doc pertains to power- and drivetrain. 

Usually authorities automobile tenders will stipulate a minimal engine measurement and output. However the Bitou municipality tender goes even additional, by stating that the manager mayor’s sedan ought to have minimal outputs of 110kW and 250Nm, whereas being no smaller than 1.4-litres in capability. 

The deputy mayoral automobile is predicted to have a considerably extra highly effective engine. Minimal capability is classed as 2.0-litres, with greater baseline energy and torque scores of 140kW and 350Nm.

Why would the deputy mayor want a extra highly effective automobile, with a bigger engine, than the mayor? 

Even stranger is its transmission requirement, the place point out is made from a ‘manumatic’ eight-speed gearbox. Nearly all native luxurious automobile manufacturers (Audi, BMW, Mercedes, and VW) provide their very own model of the manumatic transmission, however why that will be a particular technical function if the deputy mayor’s tender requirement solely states the necessity for an ‘computerized’ transmission?

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We imagine the deputy mayor’s automobile can solely be a BMW three Sequence or a Mercedes-Benz C-Class (PressClub / BMW SA)

FW, please

The Bitou government mayor additionally needs to make use of a front-wheel drive luxurious sedan, which precludes any BMW or Mercedes-Benz, and places Audi, Lexus, Volvo and VW within the working.

However why would the manager mayoral automobile should be particularly front-wheel drive, whereas the tender doc requires the deputy mayor to have a rear-wheel drive automobile? Certainly each ought to be either-or? 

These discrepancies in minimal engine output necessities, wheel and tyre sizes, to not point out the 2 completely different drive configurations (FWD and RWD), makes the Bitou mayoral tender course of look technically sloppy. 

Leasing two technically comparable autos would scale back the price complexity and provides the municipality better negotiating energy close to any transactional low cost.

Why they’re being tendered to be so technically completely different in configuration is inexplicable. 

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