Withdrawal of Unlawful Report a Victory for Tshwane Residents

ActionSA welcomes the eventual withdrawal of the proposal for an unsolicited bid by the Executive Mayor of Tshwane, Randall Williams. This is a victory for the people of Tshwane and a vindication of a position held by ActionSA that the proposal for an unsolicited bid in this regard would be unlawful.

Throughout Council, ActionSA fought vociferously to have this proposal reconsidered- going as far as writing to our coalition partners to reconsider on Sunday.

The residents of Tshwane supported a coalition government in the City of Tshwane that was different from that which they experienced prior to 2021 and it is critical that they are not bilked out of billions of rands in irregular expenditure.

The DA’s assertion that ActionSA is opposed to ending loadshedding is strikingly without merit. Sustainable electricity supply is a central commitment of our manifesto offer. The supply of electricity does not have to come at the expense of observing the law. We trust that the Executive Mayor and the DA have learned the error of their ways so we can get back on track and find lasting and legal solutions to the electricity woes faced by Tshwane and other cities.

The report, in question, is a request for public consultation to be conducted on an unsolicited bid to the amount of R26 billion from an energy service provider to obtain a concession to refurbish, finance, operate and maintain both the Pretoria West and Rooiwal Power Stations. It is also being brought to council in contravention of the signed multi-party coalition agreement.

Of greater importance is that this proposal is illegal and represents the kind of bad governance that multi-party coalitions sought to displace when taking office. ActionSA’s concerns with this item include that:

  1. The proposal is presented as an unsolicited bid yet there is no indication on which of the 4 legal requirements this unsolicited bid meets in terms of Section 113(2) of the MFMA.
  2. ActionSA is aware of written concerns raised by Provincial and National Treasury citing specific concerns about the proposal.
  3. The process has been driven with inappropriate levels of involvement of the political office of the Executive Mayor – this is highly irregular in terms of municipal legislation.
  4. It is unclear if the service provider has a NERSA-approved license to produce electricity as it appears that the proposal assumes that the City’s license will be used. ActionSA believes that no engagements have been had with NERSA or ESKOM in this respect.
  5. Jointly (City of Tshwane and service provider) branded reports and presentations by the service provider to Councillors giving the appearance of the matter being a foregone conclusion.

Appreciating the withdrawal of this report, ActionSA will return to the multiparty coalition structures to charter a path that brings the residents reliable energy supply without compromising our ethics and commitment to good governance in the process.