Just days after Public Protector Thuli Madonsela wrapped up her investigation into the awarding of a multimillion-rand Western Cape government communications tender, the ANC and Cosatu have called for another investigation – this time to ascertain whether R70 million of taxpayers’ money should be spent on advertising.
Cosatu provincial secretary Tony Ehrenreich said Cosatu would call on Madonsela to consider whether it was fair to spend R70m on advertising and branding “in the face of the huge deprivation that existed on the Cape Flats”.
In her final report on the tender awarded to TBWA/Hunt Lascaris, Madonsela made four findings of maladministration but none of unlawfulness, which meant she would not recommend that the contract was invalid or that it should be scrapped.
This is in sharp contrast with Madonsela’s draft report, which was leaked to the media last month. That report found that the appointment of the two advisers, Ryan Coetzee and Gavin Davis, was illegal and that the contract should be withdrawn and disciplinary action taken against those involved.
The communications tender, which ends in December, is a two-year contract awarded to TBWA/Hunt Lascaris in 2010 to develop a communications strategy for the provincial government.
Madonsela found that some administrative processes in managing transversal tenders were faulty. But Premier Helen Zille said the provincial treasury had picked these up and steps had been taken to rectify them.
“The entire affair was a waste of the Public Protector’s time and cost the South African taxpayer hundreds of thousands of rands at least, that could better have been spent on service delivery,” Zille said.