Top five government tender winners in February

Read time 6min 30sec

Government's top tender awards for the month of February reveal the public sector's approach is varied indeed.

Keeping it old-school, the National Prosecuting Authority has gone for a rip-and-place strategy in approaching its hardware requirements. Like the targets of its criminal investigations, the organisation wants its inadequate storage area network infrastructure and tape back-up solution sent away for good.

The South African Social Security Agency, on the other hand appears to have been keeping its cards close to its chest when it placed a seemingly innocuous advert for software support and maintenance. Despite appearances, the tender for OpenText (Livelink) support and maintenance entails a fair portion of what would be considered professional services. Evidently, the agency would like to keep its efforts to sort out its records management undercover.

The State Information Technology Agency takes this clandestine appearance a step further with a tender that is shrouded in mystery. Featuring a reference number that bears no resemblance to the agency's standard format, the R86 million contract for software support and maintenance appears to have been awarded without having been advertised in the first place. What's more, information about this tender remains elusive. All that has been detailed is that the software in question is from software giant, CA.

Conversely, Sanral's documentation for the KwaZulu Natal freeway management system was so detailed that interested parties had to collect a tender pack on CD from its offices. Access to such extensive information is no doubt a by-product of the eight year for the national freeway management system which is coming to an end. Sanral has decided not to renew the contract as it wishes to allow more local participation.

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme rounds out the report demonstrating that industry trends are filtering through to traditionally conservative government IT officers. The contemporary arrangement will see Dimension Data providing server and storage infrastructure as a service. The solution will be hosted within the NSFAS data centre and must provide consumptive billing down to the hour.

1. South African National Roads Agency Limited – R440 million awarded to Netronix

As its original eight-year freeway management systems (FMS) contract comes to a close, the South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) has decided to “allow more local participation” by dividing the work into regional contracts.

For the the KwaZulu Natal province, the FMS tender has been awarded to Netronix at a cost of R437 million for a duration of six years, with a possible extension for an additional two years.

The scope of the project requires that the company manage traffic through the use of various technologies. This includes: CCTV cameras, traffic sensors and other data sources;information dissemination technologies such as variable message signs, e-mail, social media platforms, media and a website; advanced traffic management techniques such as ramp metering, shoulder lane running, and variable speed limits; delay minimisation in the event of an incident; as well as response co-ordination with other authorities.

The contract is a design-build-operate-maintain type and will see Netronix taking over an existing FMS at Sanral's operations centre in Midrand, including all hardware and software to enable required operational functions. The focus of the design and build phase will be on preparing enhancements, expansions and infills. These will operate on Sanral's system software to which the company is only required to provide input into design aspects and to ensure integration of the required interfaces.

The FMS operations will remain in Midrand with Netronix assuming all responsibility for operations, maintenance, reporting, disaster recovery and assets.

2. South African Social Security Agency - R109 million awarded to Faranani

The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) has awarded a contract to Faranani Doc Tec for the support and maintenance of Livelink (OnpenText) content lifecycle management suite. The agreement will run for three years and is valued at R109 million.

Founded in 2004, Faranani is a level 2 BB-BEE ICT systems integration company targeting the healthcare, financial, manufacturing, public safety and security, and transport industries.

The tender includes add-on data customised applications; all functionalities associated with workflow applications; beneficiaries records management; support and maintenance for OpenText LiquidOffice form automation software, automation of business processes through solution expansion and enhancements; scanning using the Kofax solution; as well as any upgrades, module implementations, training and 24-hour DBA services.

3. State Information Technology Agency – R86 million awarded to CA

CA Southern Africa, sole representative of CA Technologies (a Broadcom Company) in sub-Saharan Africa, has received a contract valued at R86 million for the maintenance and support of its software products under the unusually numbered tender: SS 2569- 2019. The products in question were not specified.

The vendor has an extensive catalogue of systems software and application offerings that run in mainframe, distributed computing and cloud computing environments.

Additional information on the terms of this contract has been unavailable. A search of the National Tender Bulletin archives revealed that the tender was not advertised in the gazette, at least not under the quoted reference number. Much of the procurement section on SITA's website has been inaccessible since last week due to the internal Web server being “down for maintenance”. This includes access to current invitations and documentation, status of tenders and the consolidated list of SITA tenders going back years. A direct request for information also went unanswered.

4. National Prosecuting Authority – R25 million awarded to VIC IT Consulting

VIC IT Consulting has beaten out eight competitors to secure an infrastructure renewal and maintenance project from the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA). Founded in 2010, the SMME is 100% female owned with a level 1 BBBEE certification. The company was one of 16 tech start-ups that made up the South African contingent to last year's GITEX Technology Week in Dubai.

The R25-million contract will see the company decommission and replace the NPA's storage area network infrastructure and tape back-up solution. The installation will include software and firmware configuration; remote management capability; training and skills transfer and requisite warranties. The agreement includes a five-year service portion requiring preventative and corrective maintenance, on-site services and 24/7 service availability.

5. National Student Financial Aid Scheme – R15 million awarded to Dimension Data

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has chosen Dimension Data to deliver a solution to its infrastructure replacement and disaster recovery requirements.

The agreement is a result of its server and storage infrastructure reaching its end of life as well as nearing maximum capacity. Its disaster recovery solution, on the other hand, needed refreshing in order to ensure business continuity, the organisation stated.

Both elements are to be provided as consumption-based services over a minimum period of 12 months and a maximum period of three years.

“The infrastructure replacement will be based on a private cloud model using hyper converged infrastructure technology and hosted within the NSFAS data centre. The current virtualised environment needs to be migrated to the new solution. The disaster recovery will be a managed solution whereby NSFAS replicates its data offsite and the service provider manages the solution and provides the software to generate reports, alerts and DR testing capability,” it specified.

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