a picture of a laptop

Plans to provide struggling students with laptops has hit a snag.

Dr Randall Carolissen, Administrator of the National Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) said another tender for supply and delivery of laptops will be sent to the Government Printing Works. It will be published on September 4.

NSFAS was informed by Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister, Blade Nzimande, on June 4, 2020, that it would be managing the procurement of laptops for NSFAS funded students for the 2020 academic year.

A tender document was prepared and advertised for the supply and delivery of the laptops. The tender closed  on July 13, 2020, after receiving 150 bid proposals.

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During the evaluation process, no admissible bids were received. The proposals all failed to meet the mandatory requirements put forth in the tender bid description.

“A notice to advertise the new tender will be submitted to the Government Printing Works on August 28, 2020, for publication on September 4, 2020.

“The new tender will be published in the Government Tender Bulletin, the National Treasury E-tender portal and the NSFAS website on September 4, 2020, with updated requirements,” Carolissen said on Wednesday, August 26.

He called on service providers to participate in the bidding, asking them to ensure the responses are supplemented with ‘explicit, sufficient and appropriate evidence’.

Carolissen said the NSFAS had already given guidelines to universities and TVET colleges describing the processes they should follow to ensure the speed up of processing and delivering laptops to students.

As soon as service providers have been appointed, the laptops will be delivered.

“The successful implementation and completion of this project is of paramount importance and priority to NSFAS. NSFAS takes firmly the issue of compliance, thorough and fair processes.

“We would like to convey an earnest apology caused by the delay resulting from no acceptable bids being received,” Carolissen added.