Pretoria - The City of Tshwane and engineering consultancy firm GladAfrica are set to part ways at the end of June.
The Pretoria News has reliably learnt that the two parties entered into a mutual agreement to end the irregular R12 billion contract, effected in November 2017, to assist the City with the roll-out of infrastructure.
The contract was supposed to last for three years, but both the council mandated report by Bowman as well the Auditor-General of South Africa found that it was irregularly awarded by City manager Dr Moeketsi Mosola.
The latest development regarding the City’s exit plan from the controversial contract is believed to have stirred dissatisfaction within the ruling DA.
According to insiders, the unhappiness was caused by the fact that the mutual agreement with the contractor effectively meant that those implicated in the irregular awarding of the multibillion rand tender - specifically Mosola - would not be held accountable.
Before assuming office, new Executive Mayor Stevens Mokgalapa promised to deal with the GladAfrica matter within a week in office.
He had been scheduled to make the announcement on Friday, but cancelled at the 11th hour.
According to sources within the DA, the approach by Mokgalapa to the GladAfrica scandal was worlds apart from that of his predecessor Solly Msimanga, who wanted Mosola to be suspended at all costs, pending an investigation.
Msimanga tried to force council’s hand in the matter, but his efforts were thwarted by the opposition ANC and EFF.
In terms of the mutual agreement, Mosola will instead be empowered to appoint another service provider with a view to fulfil the work initially granted to GladAfrica.
The City will also seek possible settlement negotiations with regards to the Bowman report and subsequent Labour Court case.
Last year, the council-mandated Bowman probe also found that the awarding of the contract was irregular.
Mosola then approached the Labour Court and successfully interdicted the tabling of the report to council, pending the outcome of further legal proceedings.
However, another sore point within the DA is that while the Bowman investigation was a council resolution, the new decision has not been tabled to council, and crucially, Mosola will be investigated by his subordinates if they go the Financial Disciplinary Board way proposed in the new resolution.
“Remember, when he went to court he, among others, mentioned he was being investigated by his subordinate, COO James Murphy,” a source within the ruling party said yesterday.
“It was a mayoral committee resolution under Msimanga to review and set aside the contract, but yet the rescission decision was made while there was no such structure, which makes the decision questionable. The mayor only named his new executive last week.”
Mokgalapa is expected to express full support for the recommendations made by the Auditor-General last month in declaring that the contract was irregular.
The Pretoria News previously reported that during the last meeting of Msimanga’s mayoral committee, it was resolved that the GladAfrica matter be put on judicial review.
However, Mokgalapa is believed not to support this view.
The latest information emerging from the City noted that the Auditor-General’s report was subjected for further scrutiny to the Municipal Public Accounts Committee.
Mokgalapa was scheduled to brief the media this morning to detail how the City would end the impasse between Mosola and council over the Bowman report. In terms of the mutual agreement, GladAfrica will be put on a strict performance plan and monitoring to complete the work in this financial year.
The City’s mayoral spokesperson Samkelo Mgobozi declined to comment on the developments, saying there would be a media briefing today to address the GladAfrica matter.
EFF leader Moaferika Mabogwana said he was not in a position to comment because he wasn’t familiar with the latest development, while ANC regional leaders could not be reached yesterday.