City heads to court over R2.7bn deal

The New Age (Gauteng) - - NEWS - KUTULLO MADISHA ku­tul­lom@the­newage.co.za

THE city of Tsh­wane will ap­proach the North Gaut­eng High Court to set aside the Tsh­wane broadband con­tract on the grounds that the pre­vi­ous ad­min­is­tra­tion en­tered into the deal.

The project was ap­proved by the then ANC con­trolled city coun­cil in April last year de­spite con­cerns raised by both the Gaut­eng and na­tional trea­suries about, among other things, a flawed pro­cure­ment process.

In Novem­ber, the au­di­tor-gen­eral (AG) found the deal to be ir­reg­u­lar and de­ter­mined its value at R2.736bn.

The AG’s find­ing prompted the new DA ad­min­is­tra­tion to in­ves­ti­gate the pro­cure­ment of the deal.

MMC for cor­po­rate and shared ser­vices, Cil­liers Brink, yes­ter­day said the new ad­min­is­tra­tion be­lieved the broadband con­tract and its pro­cure­ment was riddled with ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties and non-com­pli­ance. “Tsh­wane broadband is the third in a list of ma­jor, multi-year con­tracts con­cluded by the pre­vi­ous city gov­ern­ment, which the Msi­manga ad­min­is­tra­tion seeks to set aside be­cause we con­tend they are man­i­festly un­law­ful and pre­vent­ing the city from dis­charg­ing its man­date to pro­vide bet­ter ser­vices to our res­i­dents,” he said.

He said among other ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties were changes to bid spec­i­fi­ca­tions af­ter bids had closed, vi­o­la­tion of the Pref­er­en­tial Pro­cure­ment Act and its reg­u­la­tions, two ven­dors from the same hold­ing com­pany sub­mit­ted bids and were not elim­i­nated, cru­cial ad­verse in­for­ma­tion about the pro­posed deal was with­held from coun­cil­lors when they voted to ap­prove it.

The deal binds the city to an 18-year con­tract with an ICT ser­vice provider.

At­tempts to get com­ment from the Tsh­wane ANC were un­suc­cess­ful.

PICTURE MYBROADBAND

IN COURT: Tsh­wane wants its broadband con­tract set aside.

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