City asks to pull out of controversial contract

Mayor Solly Msimanga Photo: Ron Sibiya

The Tshwane metro has launched a court application to renege on the multi-million rand smart meter contract that was signed by the previous administration.

Mayor Solly Msimanga said the new administration would head to court to ask that the smart meter contract, which was awarded to service provider PEU in 2013, be reviewed and cancelled.

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Msimanga said the contract was awarded without following proper procurement channels.

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“The serious irregularities that have marred this contract from its inception have serious ramifications for the city’s ability to provide sustainable electricity to our residents and it is for that reason I announced the launching of a substantive review into the validity of this contract,” said Msimanga.

“In consultation with relevant MMCs I have decided to file supplementary affidavits asserting that indeed the deal entered into by the Kgosientso “Sputla” Ramokgopa administration was unaffordable, irregular, irrational and must be declare unlawful and set aside on that basis.”

The deal was valued at over R2,6 billion and PEU was supposed to provide over 800 000 smart meters to residents.

Msimanga said the deal was commissioned to go ahead against advice of auditors.

“The conduct has had real implications for the people of Tshwane that has resulted in the city having to pay commission in excess of R1,65 billion, which is money the residents of Tshwane have been robbed of.”

“This exorbitant amount has only resulted in around 13 000 substandard and non-compliant meters being installed out of 800 000 meters needed.”

AfriBusiness, a non-profit business rights watchdog, has launched a court application to set aside the validity of the contract.

Msimanga said the city’s move to declare the contract unlawful was an indication that his administration was fighting corruption.

Also read: Msimanga bans all purchases or leasing of luxury cars

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Ramaupi Makgoo

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