Zara Nicholson

Metro Writer

THE city has defended the appointment of its director of strategic communications, Carol Avenant, who worked at one of the companies that won the R8-million tender in a joint venture to design the proposed new city logo.

Questions have been raised about the awarding of the rebranding contract to Yellowwood Future Architects, a company that Avenant worked for as a senior strategist – and which was owned by TBWA/Hunt Lascaris.

Yellowwood Future Architects won the R8m rebranding contract in a joint venture with King James Advertising in December.

Cosatu and the ANC in the city have raised the red flag about Avenant’s role in the tender process for the new proposed logo. They have also questioned her appointment as the city’s director of strategic communications.

Avenant left Yellowwood in September 2011 and started at the provincial government as a communications director the following month. She left the province in August last year and started at the city in September.

At the time of Avenant’s appointment in 2011, the ANC questioned Premier Helen Zille on her posting as a communications tender row erupted. A provincial government communications tender worth between R50m and R70m was awarded to TBWA/Hunt Lascaris in 2010 and came under scrutiny, with the ANC asking Public Protector Thuli Madonsela to investigate whether the contract was awarded irregularly.

Madonsela made findings of maladministration, but none of unlawfulness.

The ANC questioned whether Avenant had any role in the tender being awarded to TBWA.

But the city’s media manager Priya Reddy said Avenant “has no vested interest in Yellowwood” and that she had declared that she had worked for the company.

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