High court suspends City of Tshwane's appointment of company to oversee Wonderboom Airport

2020-02-12 20:24
An aeroplane flies at Wonderboom Airport. (Deaan Vivier, Gallo Images, Beeld, file)

An aeroplane flies at Wonderboom Airport. (Deaan Vivier, Gallo Images, Beeld, file)

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The appointment of Ntiyiso Consulting, an external transaction advisor of Wonderboom Airport appointed by the City of Tshwane, has been suspended.

The City has also been requested to appoint a properly qualified airport manager within 15 days.

This follows the Wonderboom Airport Interest Group taking the City and Ntiyiso Consulting to the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria in a bid to have the private company suspended.

The appointment of Ntiyiso, the interest group said, was done without proper consultation and the proper procedures were not followed. It was unlawful and "contrary to procurement legislation".

Ntiyiso also had no experience in the aviation industry or airport management, the group maintained.

"The very appointment of [Ntiyiso Consulting], be it for advisory and investigative purposes or the enabling of it to appoint (deploy) external contractors, is unlawful.

"The aforesaid actions could only have been taken through a tender process," Wonderboom said in court papers.

READ | Tshwane appoints consultancy firm in attempt to save Wonderboom National Airport

In the judgment, Judge J Ranchod ruled that the City must provide monthly reports to the interest group regarding the proper running and operations of the airport to, and should they wish to appoint an external service provider again, they should allow the group to participate in the decision-making process as a public participant.

In papers, the group said Wonderboom had been experiencing problems with management since 2017, when the then-municipal manager of the City moved the management of the airport from Roads and Transport and outsourced it to the Professional Aviation Services (PAS).

Last year, a crisis at the airport became apparent when the City revealed its shocking state in a report compiled by its oversight committee for road and transport, News24 reported.

READ MORE | Crisis at Wonderboom National Airport: Embezzlement, broken hangars and the missing R3m lift

This included allegations of embezzlement, non-compliance with international and domestic aviation standards, and further states that Wonderboom "is an asset in serious need of attention by an authority higher than the City".

The City of Tshwane welcomed the ruling.

"According to the court order, the City must discontinue services rendered by the transactional advisor (Ntiyiso Consultants). Furthermore, the City must appoint a new airport manager within 15 days. 

"As an administration that has high regard for the law, we will study the judgment and take appropriate action henceforth," spokesperson Omogolo Taunyane told News24.

Wonderboom Airport Interest Group also welcomed the judgment, saying it could be an opportunity to turn things around.

"This is a step in the right direction to ensure that the airport is managed in an efficient manner and to the benefit of the tenants of the Wonderboom Airport, the citizens of Tshwane and all ratepayers and taxpayers within Tshwane," chairperson Christian Maiorana said.

Read more on:    wonderboom airport  |  tshwane
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