EFF, ANC, ActionSA block plan for unsolicited R26bn bid to boost Tshwane power

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Randall Williams, Mayor of Tshwane. Photo: Melinda Stuurman

  • Tshwane Mayor Randall Williams is accused of flouting municipal law.
  • He had sought council approval to adopt a forensic report to eventually appoint a service provider to refurbish two coal-fired power stations.
  • Williams said the deal would increase the city’s electricity supply in the long term, but ANC, EFF and ActionSA wondered about the motivations of the offer.

A R26 billion bid to renovate power stations in the town of Tshwane, likely to lead to an increase in the town’s electricity supply, has been shelved after opposition political parties accused Mayor Randall Williams of flouting municipal legislation.

Tshwane Town Council met on Tuesday to consider a forensic report into an unsolicited bid from a company that offered to renovate and maintain two power stations in Tshwane.

The coal-fired power stations at Pretoria West and Rooiwal have been out of service since 2014.

According to Williams and the DA, the bid calls for the power plants to be refurbished and upgraded to gas-fired power grids.

It would help generate 800 megawatts of power over the long term and possibly facilitate load shedding in the city, Williams said.

He said if the deal is approved it would represent a direct investment of R26 billion.

But the city’s opposition political parties, the ANC, EFF and coalition partners DA ActionSA, disagreed and opposed the report being adopted and sent out for public comment. .

The arguments raised revolve around whether the city should open up the process to other companies and not just one.

READ | How Tshwane City’s All-Party Coalition Government Brought Stability to the Council

Municipal legislation allows the government to override regular procurement processes only in certain circumstances.

An example would be if a service provider was the only one able to provide the service and no alternative was available.

The ANC, EFF and ActionSA have accused Williams of “hijacking” procurement procedures and being too involved in the process.

The ANC said:

We reject the report with the contempt it deserves, and we want the mayor to be questioned for interference in the purchases. The report relates to the rehabilitation of two power stations… The idea is brilliant. We supported the idea of ​​renovating the power stations [in light of] the energy crisis, but we don’t support how the DA wanted to procure the service provider.

The EFF took a similar line in the debate.

“We have lost faith in this mayor, and we support the matter being referred to the Rules and Ethics Committee. This report doesn’t even show us if this is less than what we will get from Eskom. What is the point of supporting this if it wouldn’t save the people of Tshwane money?”

ActionSA, meanwhile, said that as part of its coalition deal, it had raised concerns with the DA but had received no response, and giving the offer a green light would amount to supporting bad governance. .

“The report indicates that the offer is unsolicited, but there is no indication of the four statutory requirements that this unsolicited offer meets in terms of the Municipal Financial Management Act,” ActionSA said in a statement. communicated.

Corruption allegations

Williams said he would seek a lawyer after being accused of corruption by ActionSA and the EFF.

Both political parties claim to have a recording in which Williams allegedly tried to force officials into an executive meeting to approve the offer.

“ActionSA and their EFF allies have sought to accuse me of corruption, smear my name and, what bothers me most, undermine the governance of the city. I encourage them to share this recording to which they hang up so people can hear how diligently we work at Tshwane,” Williams said.

“I will also consult with my attorneys with a view to taking action against those who have slandered me. Nonetheless, the DA and I will continue to work to end load shedding in our city, protect our residents, and uphold the rule of law,” he added.

The matter will be referred to the Rules and Ethics Committee of the Board.

The council did not adopt the report.

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