A City of Tshwane municipal official, known as Mr X, voluntarily came forward to testify at the Hammanskraal Community Water Inquiry today. His testimony has pointed the finger at serious irregularities in a R295 million tender awarded by the City of Tshwane to a joint venture involving a company allegedly owned by Edwin Sodi.
The testimony to the hearings was conducted in-camera to protect the identity of the municipal official who claims more than 30 years experience in the water industry. Mr X demonstrated that cheaper tenders with greater experience were overlooked in favour of the joint venture that was ultimately awarded the contract.
Mr X’s testimony spoke clearly to the fact that the contract that was awarded, and the scope of work in the contract should have improved the water quality for the people of Hammanskraal during the lockdown last year.
Instead of this, the people of Hammanskraal continue to live without safe, drinkable water.
ActionSA, some 3 weeks ago, filed an application with the City of Tshwane in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA). We have demanded access to the tender documents but are being frustrated through what is clearly a deliberate effort to evade transparency.
ActionSA will approach the courts, if necessary, to compel the City of Tshwane to provide these documents so that the people of Hammanskraal, and Tshwane more broadly, can see justice against those who take funds meant to fix a 16-year long water crisis and use it for nefarious means.
Regrettably, the lack of response from the City of Tshwane is consistent with the absence of Mayor Randall Williams from the hearings yesterday and today.
ActionSA acknowledges, however, the courage of a DA Ward Councillor who attended today’s sessions and spoke freely with the community about the water crisis. The fact that he could do so and be received warmly, only serves to demonstrate that Williams is not cut out for this job.
ActionSA warns the City of Tshwane and Mayor Williams to comply with our PAIA application in the one-week period left, or face the consequences.