Today we received an open letter to Jurie Roux, SARU CEO, lamenting the fact that the design and production of the nationally important new Springbok Museum in Cape Town was awarded to a UK (English) design company.
A number of years ago I learnt and realised first hand how apathetic South Africans are when it comes to doing something for this sport we love so much, rugby in South Africa. I learnt that SARU can do anything they want, there will be a few muted murmers and a lot of around the braai chatter about how these fools run OUR game, but nobody does anything about it and eventually these fools at SARU just laugh at us… seeing us all as mere consumers of the game, not de facto stakeholders in the game.
Suffice to say that I am deeply concerned about how SARU runs rugby in South Africa and for South African interests.
Without further a do, here is the exact contents of the letter, take a look for yourself:
Mr Jurie Roux
163 Uys Krige Road
19 April 2013
England 1 – South Africa 0
Dear Mr. Jurie Roux
Last week we received notice that the creative production of all graphics, AV and interactive content for the Springbok Experience museum was awarded to a UK firm as a result of a procurement process which had started early in the year.
In 2014, the world will look at Cape Town, South Africa as the World Design Capital, a designation which celebrates the potential of local creativity and design. It is more than unfortunate that the “Springbok Experience museum”, one of the great creative revelations of the year, could become a prime example of giving preference to international creatives; whilst turning a blind eye on local potential.
With this letter we would like to express our concern with the way the procurement process was handled, and more severely, our disappointment and shock about SARU’s decision to award this development of national importance, which manifests and celebrates a national heritage symbol (the Springboks), almost exclusively to a UK firm, despite competitive world class service being available in South Africa.
The signatories of this letter represent 2 local companies who have a reputation for high quality production of graphics and interactive digital content for museums locally and internationally. We have been instrumental in generating the initial vision of the Springbok Experience.
At the end of last year, we welcomed the engagement of a museum consultant from overseas for the master planning under the assumption that local creative professionals would be engaged for the creative production of the content including graphics, interactive AV and film. In response to the respective RFP, we submitted a highly competitive proposal (even from a local point of view); being aware that we would be competing with other capable local firms. Local firms that had been asked to submit their proposal are experts in their fields and have won several awards for world class projects in exactly the field of the proposed work (e.g. Loerie awards, IF award, etc).Speaking for ourselves, we welcomed the chance to work with an international consultancy that specializes in museum design and we were excited about the possible knowledge transfer between countries.
It is difficult to understand how SARU awarded the bulk of the production work to a UK firm, There is no doubt that the costs involved must be higher. We suspect that only the execution of the interior architecture (following the design from UK) and the procurement and installation of equipment reside with SA firms.
It also needs to be noted that from our experience the conduct of the procurement process was very obscure. At no time had we been consulted with any queries regarding our proposal, which raises questions as to whether or not local proposals had been considered at all or were merely “window dressing”.
We are used to tender processes and would like to emphasise that we generally don’t have a problem with “losing a pitch”. This is not a statement written by bad losers. However, we feel it necessary to express our concerns to SARU management that with or without our input, there is likelihood that questions will be asked about the ethical conduct of this matter as this might be seen as a bad example of SARU’s commitment to local talent and South Africa as a whole.
With the above in mind, we would like to enquire about the exact reasoning of why a UK firm has been awarded the production of graphics and digital content and what the final budget allocation for this part of the project amounts to.
Furthermore we would like to know if SARU publicly supports using local design talent above international companies and will endeavor to engage with designers locally in the future to help deliver the best outcome for our heritage and our honour, The Springboks.
CEO Formula D interactive
Ex World Design Capital Bid Committee
Local Leader Interaction Design Association
CEO Design Infestation
Vice-Chair Cape Town Design Network
Yeah guys and girls, how corrupt is this world of ours, and how easily South Africans in positions of authority manage to abuse the systems they run!
How easy we are to be led by the noses and treated like muchrooms – kept in the dark and fed manure!