Ekurhuleni posts R200,000 Xbox tender for “4IR” libraries

The City of Ekurhuleni has issued a tender to procure six Xbox Series X consoles for libraries to make them “4IR compliant” in light of robotics being added to the South African school curriculum.

Ekurhuleni encompasses Gauteng’s East Rand region, including towns and cities like Thembisa, Katlehong, Boksburg, Germiston, Kempton Park, Benoni, Springs, and Alberton.

4IR is an acronym for the fourth industrial revolution — an industry buzzword popularized by World Economic Forum founder and executive chairman Klaus Schwab in 2015.

Technologies seen to be advancing 4IR include ubiquitous fast mobile broadband like 4G and 5G, large-scale machine-to-machine networks (Internet of Things), cryptocurrencies, blockchain technologies, “Web3”, the metaverse, and artificial intelligence.

The request for quotation will close on Thursday, 25 May 2023 and allows for a maximum transaction value of R200,000.

The tender gives preferential status to bidders at least 50% owned by women, youth, and people living with disabilities.

Exempt micro-enterprises, qualifying small enterprises, and businesses within Ekurhuleni can also get points for preferential procurement.

Bidders must also supply an audio-visual technician with at least three years’ experience to install the consoles and provide training.

In addition to the six Xbox Series X consoles, Ekurhuleni has asked bidders to quote for 12 wireless controllers “or equivalent with the same technical specifications” and six games.

The games bidders must deliver are FIFA 2023, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Forza Horizon 5, Mortal Kombat 11, Minecraft Dungeons, and an unspecified Lego Star Wars game.

It is unclear how Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Mortal Kombat 11 would help Ekurhuleni tackle the new school curriculum, as the Film and Publications Board has given both games an 18 age restriction.

It is also unclear how any of the games, except maybe Minecraft Dungeons at a stretch, helps with the libraries’ 4IR compliance.

Asked about the tender, Ekurhuleni provided the following statement:

“City of Ekurhuleni Libraries are libraries of the future and we are working towards make them 4IR compliant. Through the procurement of various technologies, we are getting the youth to the libraries and also use it as educational platforms to develop their reading skills.”

It is also unfortunate that Ekurhuleni demands firm prices on specific games, as it could save a substantial sum by buying an Xbox Game Pass for each console rather than six copies of every game it wants.

An Xbox Game Pass would also grant access to substantially more titles, and new versions of FIFA when they are released every year.

MyBroadband’s comparison below, using the table format stipulated by the tender document, illustrates this.

Xbox Series X Ekurhuleni comparison (excluding technician and training)
Item Description Quantity Unit Price Price excl. VAT
1 Xbox Series X 6 R10,434 R62,603
2 Xbox Series X wireless controllers 12 R1,217 R14,598
3 FIFA 2023 6 R956 R5,739
4 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 6 R782 R4,690
5 Forza Horizon 5 6 R956 R5,734
6 Mortal Kombat 11 6 R808 R4,847
7 Minecraft Dungeons 6 R295 R1,769
8 Lego Star Wars 6 R477 R2,864
Subtotal excl. VAT R102,845
VAT 15% R15,427
Total incl. VAT R118,272
Xbox Series X Ekurhuleni comparison using Game Pass (excluding technician and training)
Item Description Quantity Unit Price Price excl. VAT
1 Xbox Series X 6 R10,434 R62,604
2 Xbox Series X wireless controllers 12 R1,217 R14,598
3 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 6 R782 R4,690
4 Xbox Game Pass (Three years), which includes:

Forza Horizon 5, Mortal Kombat 11, Minecraft Dungeons, Lego Star Wars, and many more.

6 R2,473 R14,838
5
6
7
8
Subtotal excl. VAT R96,731
VAT 15% R14,510
Total incl. VAT R111,241
Difference / Saving R7,031

Prices are taken from online retailers and therefore already include a retail profit margin.

VAT has been removed and added back on a single line item at the end of the table.

Our prices exclude the technician, installation, and training costs, as Ekurhuleni did not include a separate line item for this. Bidders must find another way to add that cost to their quote.

Our comparison was generous in that we selected cheaper games wherever possible.

For example, we used the price of Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which costs R549 on the Microsoft Store.

Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is much more expensive (R1,069 for the standard edition) and is also included in Game Pass.

By opting for an Xbox Game Pass for each console at R79 per month, Ekurhuleni could save around R7,031 — and that’s assuming they buy three years of Game Pass at the current price.

Ekurhuleni Xbox Series X tender document

Ekurhuleni’s tender document is embedded below.


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Ekurhuleni posts R200,000 Xbox tender for “4IR” libraries