This is an application for an interim interdict pending the outcome of a review for the setting aside of a tender awarded by the respondent, the eThekwini Municipality (‘the municipality’) for the supply and delivery of mechanical and insertion type electromagnetic flow water meters (‘water meters’).
 The history of the matter may be summarised as follows .
Water meters have been used by the municipality to monitor water consumption for approximately 100 years.
The applicant is a manufacturer of both water meters and what are referred to as electronic flow controllers. The two pieces of equipment are, in some installations, used together and are viewed by the applicant as an integrated unit.
The water meter gives off an electric impulse every time half a litre of water passes through it. This signal is transmitted to the electronic flow controller which has a valve, and after a specified amount of water has passed through the valve it shuts off, limiting or restricting entirely the flow of water.
During November of 2010 the municipality invited tenders for the supply of approximately 70 000 water meters. The tender closed on the 19th November of 2010.
In this application the relevant part of the tender was that for 15mm water meters, and the tender specifications in respect thereof required that they :
‘comply with regulations relating to water meters in terms of the National Standard for water meters : SANS 1529-1 : 2003 or the latest applicable National Standard’ (Clause 4(b)); and
‘be approved and equipped to generate a high frequency pulse output (two pulses per litre for 15mm meters) so that the flow can be controlled by the Electronic Flow Limiter Devices currently used by the department’ (Clause 4(g));
‘If it is not a standard feature, Tenderers must stipulate on the Schedule of Prices the extra cost per water meter for the provision of a pulse output facility and any other facility that does not accommodate a reed switch in order to be compatible with the Electronic Flow Limiter Devices used by the Department.’ (Clause 5(a)).