GladAfrica board chairperson Noel Mashaba. Picture: Rapula Moatshe
Pretoria - The engineering consultancy firm at the centre of the irregular contract with the City of Tshwane, GladAfrica, has denied claims of corruption levelled against it.

The contract to oversee the implementation of infrastructure projects valued at R12 billion was entered into by the two parties in November 2017.

In the wake of the auditor-general (AG) report that declared the contract irregular, executive mayor Stevens Mokgalapa announced that the two parties mutually agreed to part ways.

Speaking exclusively to the Pretoria News yesterday, the company’s board chairperson Noel Mashaba said the decision to part ways was initiated by GladAfrica in November last year.

He said the decision was made long before the release of the AG’s report.

The company firstly wrote to the City to express concern that its working environment had “deteriorated significantly” due to controversy around the contract. It followed up with a second letter on November 28, spelling out its intention to cancel the contract.

“On that letter we were then more specific (that) we had the intention to terminate the contract,” Mashaba said.

He dismissed claims that the company received preferential treatment from the City, which allocated it a space at its Infotech building in Hatfield.

He said it was not out of the ordinary for a client “in projects of such complexity” to give office space for a team of specialised individuals from the service provider.

Mashaba rubbished media reports regarding the contract as “completely incorrect and impractical”. As an example, he cited that media reports implied that the City gave GladAfrica a R12bn tender. The R12bn emanated from an estimated budget of the infrastructure projects in three years.

Mashaba said the contract with the City had no price tag to it and that it would make no sense for the City to allocate its whole budget to one company.

“You really have to believe in the James Bond movies to believe that such a thing could happen,” he said.

He said GladAfrica’s “framework contract” allowed the company “to be given work as and when it is required”.

On GladAfrica’s political connection with the EFF, he said: “GladAfrica was not a political-affiliated organisation. It is a business. As a matter of fact it’s a policy for us not to associate with political parties.”

However, he said the policy “not to associate with political parties doesn’t mean we don’t support political parties, but we don’t associate with politicians”.

Asked if there was a personal relationship between Mashaba and city manager Dr Moeketsi Mosola, he said: “I have just said to you that GladAfrica has been with the City for 12 years. If I am correct the city manager has been there for two years or so.”

Regarding the legacy GladAfrica would leave in the City, he said: “Deliver projects. No matter what anyone says or the media says. For 12 years running we delivered that.”

Pretoria News