GladAfrica still using Tshwane offices, pays no rent, but rakes in over R400m for services

2019-03-10 10:47
Tshwane city manager Moeketsi Mosola (File, Netwerk24)

Tshwane city manager Moeketsi Mosola (File, Netwerk24)

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GladAfrica continues to occupy the City of Tshwane's Infotech Building, the headquarters of the roads and transport unit in Hatfield, without paying a cent for rent.

Despite the metro having paid more than R400m for the GladAfrica contract since its inception, the company has to date used, for free, the Tshwane offices to carry out its services.

The controversial contract – which was meant to help the City with the rollout of an infrastructure project valued at R12bn – was declared irregular by the Auditor General in January.

However, the city's council on February 28 resolved that the company should continue with its work.

"This will be so until all the outstanding work is completed in line with the City of Tshwane council resolution of February 28, 2019," city manager Moeketsi Mosola told News24.

Mosola made no mention of whether or not the company paid for the provision of water and sanitation, electricity and other utilities.

The City incurred R1.8bn in irregular expenditure in the 2017/2018 financial year.

READ: Tshwane ANC rejects mayor Mokgalapa's 'corrupt golden handshake' in GladAfrica scandal

Mosola had persistently defended the supply chain management processes undertaken to award the contract to GladAfrica.

He, however, made an about-turn regarding the contract, conceding that the expenditure for the tender was in fact irregular as stated by the Auditor General.

Former Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga, who resigned in January at the peak of the scandal, went to council twice in 2018 in a bid to have Mosola dismissed, but failed.

READ MORE: GladAfrica: Tshwane City manager files grievance against Msimanga

In September, Msimanga brought to council allegations of wrongdoing pertaining to the GladAfrica appointment on the city manager's part. An independent investigation was authorised, but Mosola was not suspended by council.

The Young Communist League (YCL) in Tshwane has called for the immediate suspension of the city manager pending investigations into his alleged involvement in the awarding of the contract.

"There can never be a fair, transparent and independent investigation to be conducted while the Big Man (Mosola) remains in office. We therefore reiterate our call for the ANC as the main opposition party to take the bull by its horns and table a report for the Big Man to be summarily suspended before any investigation gets under way," said YCL Tshwane secretary Kgabo Morifi.

Tshwane Mayor Stevens Mokgalapa attempted to give GladAfrica a R250m "golden handshake" to leave the project, but later decided against it.

ALSO READ: ANC threatens legal action against Tshwane mayor over GladAfrica scandal

He told News24 that council decided to terminate the contract with immediate effect and no further payments would be made to GladAfrica.

"The R250m falls off," he said.

No price on new contract yet

Mokgalapa said a new contract with a different company was being sought and he has made assurances that the tender process will be regular and lawful.

"We are looking into appointing a new service provider and it will be doing an emergency service provision in the new financial year starting in July," he said.

"The council has instructed that we follow the supply chain management procurement policies and the Municipal Finance Management Act, and we will do so," added Mokgalapa.

The mayor, however, refused to be drawn on how much the new project would cost the City, only saying an assessment was being conducted.

"The City is conducting a full needs assessment to determine both the quantum and the value of work to be done.

"I am happy that we have finally brought this saga of GladAfrica to rest, and we will make things right this time around," said Mokgalapa.

READ: Urgent motion to suspend Tshwane city manager who seeks to block report into tender irregularities

In a statement last week, GladAfrica maintained its initial stance on the matter and said that it "was appointed after a rigorous selection process that looked at, among other things, our capacity to deliver on the project".

"We have met and satisfied all the requirements as stipulated in the municipality's supply chain regulations and the Municipal Finance Management Act."

The company said it had approached the Gauteng Ethics Advisory Council to probe its conduct with regard to the bidding process for the contract.

"We await the outcome of this process," the statement read.

Read more on:    moeketsi mosola  |  pretoria  |  service delivery  |  governance
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