Cape Town - The ANC in the City of Cape Town says it will approach the Western Cape High Court for an urgent court interdict if the proposed new logo is approved by the council on Wednesday.
“It is a tremendous waste of money while the city has huge service delivery needs. There has never been public participation on this, and this is a fundamental flaw in the process,” said ANC chief whip Xolani Sotashe.
He said the ANC would also call for a forensic investigation of how the tender for the branding agency was awarded.
Mayor Patricia de Lille on Monday revealed the new logo and pay-off line “Making progress possible. Together” at a press briefing organised in response to the publication of a version of the logo in the Cape Argus last week that differed only slightly in terms of colour.
The decision to replace the logo was based on the need to express the city’s shift from “passive service delivery to shared responsibility for mutual success,” she said.
A “revolutionary change in visual expression” was needed to communicate this shift “effectively and with impact”.
De Lille said the city had to move away from the current logo and “City that works for you” tagline because it implied a passive government-citizen relationship.
“We want to shape a future of dynamic collaboration where, through partnership and shared responsibility, we work for mutual success.”
De Lille said the leaking of the logo to the media had “done a great disservice to the people of Cape Town and to a robust and professional process”.
It had also undermined the council’s legal and other processes.
The logo would have been revealed at on Wednesday’s council meeting, when councillors would be asked to support the recommendation to implement the new design.
De Lille allayed concerns that the process of implementing a new corporate identity would not be at the expense of service delivery: “No new budget has been allocated to the development or implementation phase.”
She said R313 270 had been spent on the design of the “proposed new corporate identity, a new visual language and brand architecture development”.
Paul Boughey, De Lille’s chief of staff, confirmed that a joint venture of King James Advertising Cape Town and Yellowwood Future Architects had been appointed to do the work, after an open tender process.
According to the city’s website, a tender for “provision of professional services: branding agency” was awarded in December, and the estimated value was R8 million.
The report that will be considered by the council on Wednesday notes that an allocation of about R7m has been made by the department of integrated strategic communication and branding.
“The implementation of the new corporate identity will be phased in over a number of years. Line departments will replace existing collateral as and when needed. Further funding will be allocated from the communication budgets of line departments to assist with the implementation of the new corporate identity.”
De Lille said that apart from “selected high-impact items”, all other branding would be phased in on a “needs basis”. But Sotashe said the changing of the logos on everything from letterheads to uniforms would have huge cost implications.
In response to questions about the lack of public consultation in the choice of the logo, De Lille said people had an opportunity to comment when the city developed its integrated development plan (IDP). The values of the IDP formed the basis of the new corporate identity.
“It didn’t just fall out of the air, it was based on the content of the IDP.”
All available citizen research, including the customer satisfaction survey, had also been used.
But tempers flared when Freedom Front Plus councillor Andre Fourie, who attended on Monday’s media briefing, wanted to know why councillors would be asked to approve a new corporate identity that had not been part of an open process.
De Lille said the matter would be discussed in the council, and accused Fourie of “showing off” in front of the press.
Meanwhile, the African Christian Democratic Party said after the briefing that the mayor’s plan to unveil the logo only during the council meeting showed “contempt for opposition parties”.
ANC councillor Bheki Hadebe said later during a press conference that as the IDP was only in place for five years, would the city have to consider a new logo again in 2017 when the plan was up for review?
Sotashe said: “They must show us where communities were asked if the city needed a new logo.”
He said there was widespread unhappiness among officials, and even within the DA caucus, about the proposed logo.
“It shows that if you vote DA, you will get a logo instead of houses,” he said.