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Tension in Tshwane coalition as DA asks ActionSA whether it wants to co-govern or join opposition

The Rooiwal Waste Water Works. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency (ANA)

The Rooiwal Waste Water Works. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Apr 6, 2022

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Pretoria - Cracks are starting to show in the coalition government of the City of Tshwane, with the DA telling ActionSA to decide whether it wanted to co-govern or “join the ANC and the EFF in opposition”.

DA caucus chairperson Jacqui Uys fired a broadside at ActionSA for accusing the DA-led Tshwane administration of having known about allegations of irregularities in a R2-billion contract to upgrade the Rooiwal Waste Water Works from as far back as 2019.

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Uys challenged ActionSA to decide “whether it wants to use the power of government to get things done, or whether it wants to join the ANC and the EFF in opposition. The party cannot have it both ways.”

She said that ActionSA’s “antics” seemed to be a repeat of what the party did with Tshwane’s adjustment budget. “After they took part in preparing the budget, they then threatened to vote against it,” Uys said.

The latest round of political squabbling was fuelled by criticisms made by ActionSA’s ward 96 councillor Hannes Coetzee against last week’s announcement by MMC for Finance Peter Sutton that mayor Randall Williams had asked for a formal investigation into any irregularities of the Rooiwal tender.

The investigation, according to Sutton, followed concerns raised about the supply chain processes for the phase 1 tendering process.

Hitting out at Sutton, Coetzee said “the sudden move” to probe the tender was “disingenuous at best” because the DA-led administration had known about the allegations.

But it would appear the criticism didn’t go down well with the DA, which said the statement was astounding because “ActionSA forms part of the coalition that governs the city”.

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“ActionSA councillors have access to all the levers of power and influence in the city,” Uys said.

She said both Williams and Sutton were “concerned not just about the Rooiwal refurbishment project, but also the plant’s day-to-day maintenance and operations”.

“If Hannes Coetzee, the ActionSA candidate for the ward 96 by-election, is unaware of what the city is already undertaking, he must speak to his ActionSA representatives in government,” Uys said.

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