ActionSA says it will decide whether to continue to support Tshwane mayor Randall Williams at a later stage following his alleged role in an “unsolicited” R26 billion tender.
Addressing the media on Thursday, ActionSA national chairperson Michael Beaumont confirmed that the party would report Williams to the authorities over the matter.
It emerged, this week, that Williams had ordered City of Tshwane officials to support his decision to approve an unsolicited bid proposal for refurbishment of power stations.
In a leaked audio from a meeting chaired by Williams on Tuesday, the mayor could be heard allegedly instructing officials to support his executive decision for an unsolicited bid on the project.
The multibillion-rand project is aimed to maintain and operate the Pretoria West and Rooiwal power substations to self-generate 800MW of electricity for the city.
During Thursday’s briefing, Beaumont said Williams’ actions were in contravention of Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA).
He also stressed that ActionSA did not have a problem with the multi-party coalition government in Tshwane after Williams accused the party of attempting to destabilise the council.
“We have a problem with the mayor of Tshwane and what we will now do is collect the evidence that is before us and we will ensure that evidence is provided to the Public Protector, National Treasury and every organ of state responsible for looking at these particular matters,” he said.
Beaumont said the question now facing ActionSA was whether the party could continue to support Williams as Tshwane mayor.
“That must be answered through a proper investigation and through the multi-party coalition. It is intolerable to have a scenario where an individual can trample a coalition agreement and subject all political parties illegality in terms of how the City of Tshwane is operated,” the ActionSA national chairperson.
ActionSA Gauteng chairperson, Bongani Baloyi, questioned the service provider – an Australian energy company Kratos Energy – which has a National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) license to independently produce electricity.
“The DA [Democratic Alliance] can accuse us of being a party lead by a leader with who has a high ego and that’s why we are doing these things [sic]. But they can’t run away from answering the question [of] why did the mayor take this proposal and instruct the acting City manager to appoint these people,” Baloyi said.
Baloyi further alleged that Williams had secret briefing sessions with the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) as well as African National Congress (ANC) in order to secure the parties’ support for the tender.
“In KwaDukuza, the DA said you can’t negotiate with parties that are outside the coalition agreement and solicit their support. But here in Tshwane, the mayor actively engages ANC and EFF to persuade them and solicit support on council items and the DA finds nothing wrong there,” he said.
“So when the mayor arrived at the council, he realised that he doesn’t have the numbers, that the people he was weighing his support on had actually turned around and decided not to support the item,” Baloyi added.
Meanwhile, Gauteng Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) MEC, Lebogang Maile, has given Williams seven days to respond to the allegations levelled against him.
Maile wrote to Williams asking him to provide adequate reasons as to why the MEC should not discharge his statutory powers in terms of Section 106(1)(b) of the Systems Act.
The MEC said the allegations were “deemed serious” and these claims may be “considered as interference in the supply chain management processes of which the legislation patently prohibits councillors from doing”.
“The allegations are deemed very serious, with far-reaching ramifications on the integrity and governance of the office of the executive mayor and the municipality, and the office of the speaker,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.
EFF Tshwane has since laid criminal charges against Williams over the allegations.
Regional chairperson, Obakeng Ramabodu, opened a case of corruption and bribery at Brooklyn Police Station in Pretoria on Wednesday.
Ramabodu said the regional party wants the police to investigate if Kratos Energy gave Williams money.
The ANC has since called on the mayor to resign following the revelations.
Additional reporting by Faizel Patel