ANC guns for DA in Tshwane over 'dodgy' tender
Party wants municipality placed under administration over contract awarded to an engineering consultancy
The ANC and DA have locked horns in the Tshwane municipality over the legality of a multibillion-rand project-management contract.
The DA-led administration says it followed due process when awarding engineering consultancy GladAfrica managing authority over R12bn in infrastructure projects, from which the firm raked in a quarter of a billion rand in middleman commissions over the past six months.
Now, ANC leaders in the municipality are calling for heads to roll, threatening to open criminal cases and make submissions for the municipality to be placed under provincial administration.
The Sunday Times reported that city manager Moeketsi Mosola is allegedly at the centre of the controversial deal, bringing the firm in despite legal opinions suggesting that doing so was unlawful. He reportedly further disregarded resistance from senior officials in the city, some of whom were stripped of their powers when questioning the move.
What followed was a frenzy of to-and-fros between the DA and the ANC.During a press conference early on Wednesday Mosola’s office released a statement detailing the events leading up to the contract being awarded to GladAfrica.
The Sunday Times reported that Mosola chose the firm from a list of suppliers he obtained from the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), using a procurement regulation that allows a municipality to use an existing contract with another state organ to obtain a supplier without going through normal tender processes.
In his statement Mosola said the process of appointing GladAfrica was in compliance with the legislative prescripts governing the city’s supply chain management.
“The supply chain management process and the evaluation undertaken by the DBSA team in establishing a panel of service providers was competitive and credible and as such I have no reason to doubt it. The Executive Adjudication Committee strictly complied with the legislative prescripts and the [city’s] supply chain policy,” he said.
“I also impressed upon them (the committee) that while panel appointments in the city are not subjected to legal comments ... in this case, before submitting this report to my office, it must be forwarded to Group Legal Services in order for them to provide comments on the overall process. This was done and, upon receipt of the comments from Group Legal Services, I signed the letter of appointment.”
Two hours later, the ANC held its own press conference, at which ANC regional chairperson Kgosi Maepa said the party will make submissions to Gauteng local government MEC Dikgang Moiloa, calling for the city to be put under administration immediately.They would also request that President Cyril Ramaphosa task the Special Investigations Unit to investigate the city’s financial affairs since the DA-led coalition took over the administration in 2016.
Maepa said the “disregard” displayed by Mosola and the DA administration in this instance is at “unprecedented levels”.
“It is clear as daylight that the awarding of the contract was flawed from the start. We have instructed our legal team to look further into the matter as we are intending on pursuing this act of maladministration without fear or favour,” he said.
He contended that Mosola flouted standard procurement processes and relied on regulations that did not apply in this instance.
“The circumstances present in this case are a flagrant abuse and flouting of the law ... In this illicit contract, the [city] did not get value for money. Moreover, the city paid exorbitant fees outside the requirement of regulations that the fees must be the same or less.”