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Power station deal goes to court

Cape Town - Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille is going to court in a bid to set aside the Athlone power station contract - a tender she earlier said was clear of fraud or corruption.

She told the city council on Wednesday even though an “independent and well-known firm of forensic investigators revealed no evidence of either fraud or corruption”, the Western Cape High Court must decide on the “validity” of the contract with Aurecon.

Cape Town mayor Patricia De Lille File photo: David Ritchie. Credit: INLSA

“After careful consideration of all the relevant facts and circumstances together with the legal advice received, the city has resolved to proceed with an application to the high court to have the tender process reviewed and the awarding of the tender set aside,” she said.

Since August, the ANC had been critical of the R9.7-million contract awarded to Aurecon for the decommissioning of the Athlone power station.

It alleged the process leading to the awarding of the tender was irregular, unfair and anti-competitive.

The ANC said Aurecon had an advantage over other bidders as it had carried out the feasibility study and produced the work plan for the decommissioning.

ANC councillor Bheki Hadebe questioned earlier this month whether the process was competitive if the same company was “the referee and the player”.

De Lille told councillors to “refrain from… making inaccurate and inflammatory statements on this matter”.

“In the interests of transparency and legal certainty, the city believes that the correct course of action is for the high court to pronounce on the validity or otherwise of the Athlone Power Station tender,” she told the council.

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