Mteto Nyati, Altron CEO (Pic supplied: Altron)

PRETORIA  - Telecommunications and information technology company Altron said on Wednesday it was disappointed and might launch an appeal after the High Court in Pretoria set aside a contract with the city of Tshwane for a project in which its subsidiary Altron Nexus was the primary network designer and supplier of broadband equipment.

The contract for Tshwane’s municipal broadband network project had been awarded to Thobela Telecoms, a special purpose vehicle in which Altron Nexus was a minority shareholder.

“We are disappointed and are considering our legal options," Altron CEO Mteto Nyati said in a statement. "Once we have consulted Thobela Telecoms and project funders, we will consider our next steps and we are not ruling out an appeal of the judgement."

The Tshwane municipality, which is now led by the Democratic Alliance, had asked the court to set aside the multimillion-rand contract, saying it was approved by the previous African National Congress administration after a flawed process which contravened rules.

The council said as a result, it was contractually bound to pay an annual amount R278 million. 

However, Altron said the city had not paid a cent towards the project.

"Our estimated exposure to the business is between R40 million and R60 million. This considers our claims against Thobela Telecoms for infrastructure and equipment supplied so far," said Nyati.

"Up to this point the city of Tshwane has not paid a cent of taxpayers’ money towards the project as we are in the build phase which is being funded by our funders.”

African News Agency (ANA)