The multi-million rand Khomanani communication campaign came to an abrupt halt nine months ago when the director-general of health asked that the campaign be reviewed before any new tender was awarded.
The previous tender was awarded to a consortium led by Johnnic Communications in late 2001, and R300-million has been spent on the campaign in the past five years.
The new tender was supposed was supposed to have run from mid-2006 to mid-2009 but the tender application process only closed on 1 December 2006. Four companies were then shortlisted this year.
Government initially expressed its intention to spread the five-part campaign amongst different bidders.
However, one of the unsuccessful bidders who asked not to be named said: ‘I think government awarded the entire tender to one group because it realised that the way it had divided up the campaign was unworkable.’
The tender divided the campaign into the five content-based components rather than operational areas, which meant that if more than one company had been appointed, operations would have been duplicated.
‘We are honoured by the trust government has put in our group and humbled by the challenge,’ said Hunt Lascaris’s Cyril Sadiki.
However, Sadiki was reluctant to release details of his company’s plans for the campaign, saying that government would need to do so first.
Health department spokesperson Charity Bhengu confirmed the awarding of the tender to Hunt Lascaris but said she was still waiting for further information before she could release any details about the new phase of Khomanani.