View of the City of Cape Town’s council. An investigation into the ill-fated procurement of electrical buses is “nearly” complete, according to the municipal public accounts committee. File photo: David Ritchie African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town - The investigation into the ill-fated procurement of electrical buses is “nearly” complete, according to the municipal public accounts committee.

“The matter is still under investigation. We have a task team handling it that is investigating and they will report the matter to the standing committee,” said committee chairperson Yagyah Adams. 

“We are hoping to get this wrapped up within the coming weeks so that it can go to council.”

The investigation was prompted after Chinese electric bus company BYD allegedly paid for accommodation and meals and a high-speed train ride for city transport officials on a trip to China - a year before the company was awarded a tender for a pilot project as a “sole provider”. This trip was in August 2015, but the project was put out to tender in February 2016. 

In August 2016, the tender was awarded to BYD. Part of the deal with BYD was that they would build a plant in Atlantis, but this has not materialised.

This is one of the alleged cases of corruption and maladministration that law firm Bowmans investigated at the behest of the city.

Eleven buses have already been delivered at a cost of R128 million, but they are standing idle at a bus depot.

Bowmans has recommended that criminal charges be pursued against former mayor Patricia de Lille, former mayco member for transport and urban development Brett Herron, and other officials.

A second report cleared De Lille of any wrongdoing.

Councillor Danile Khatshwa from the ANC said: “What we have to remember is that this task team has been tasked with investigating 40 other cases within the city and we understand that. We believe they are doing everything they can, what we are aware of is that it will most probably be ready for council in early July.”

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Cape Argus