Power deal: Future of Tshwane mayor Randall Williams hangs in balance

18th August 2022 By: News24Wire

The mayor of Tshwane, Randall Williams, looks set to face a motion of no confidence because of a controversial R26-billion power station revamp tender. 

The African National Congress (ANC) in Tshwane said it would apply for a motion of no confidence in Williams. 

Opposition political parties accused Williams of forcing City officials to compile a forensic report, to push through an unsolicited bid to revamp two power stations.

The City received an unsolicited bid from the Kratos consortium to revamp and maintain the Pretoria West and Rooiwal power stations. 

The power stations have not been operational since 2014. 

According to the report supplied to the Gauteng Treasury, the consortium would revamp the power stations to provide clean gas energy. 

The bid proposed numerous benefits, including the creation of 36 000 jobs in five years, foreign direct investment, and R22-billion in investment for the City. 

Williams said the offer would supply 800 megawatts of electricity and possibly end load-shedding in Tshwane.

Opposition political parties accused Williams of not following municipal legislation. 

They claimed, without evidence, that he had links with the company and that he was giving away the City's assets for 30 years, without any guarantee. 

ActionSA, the Economic Freedom Fighters and ANC said the offer from Kratos was not unusual and could be supplied by other companies. 

The political parties said that, because of this, the offer should be opened for public participation. The cost should also be further analysed. 

ActionSA, a coalition partner of the Democratic Alliance (DA) in Tshwane, has been the most vocal in the matter. 

The party said its coalition partnership with the DA had a "Randall problem". 

ActionSA's national chairperson, Michael Beaumont, said the party would raise concerns about Williams with its coalition partners. 

He said ActionSA could not guarantee Williams' future. 

A complaint would be filed with the Public Protector, Beaumont said. 

He stopped short of saying the party would call for Williams to be removed, but said it was concerned about his behaviour.

"It is strange that they would go through with this and that there would be such a rush. You are talking about a 30-year lease. Why can't we take some time to check if this is legal," he said.

The ANC said during a media briefing on Thursday that Williams had failed as mayor. 

The party raised similar concerns about the bid being entertained without a tender process.

The ANC claimed it did desktop research, which showed that the services offered by the consortium were not unique. 

The ANC region's secretary, George Matjila, said the party would apply for a motion of no confidence in Williams. 

"Williams seems to desire an early exit bid because the DA continues bringing an illegal bid. The ANC has conducted desktop research and found companies that can provide the same services. So, the question is, what the mayor is benefitting in the matter," Matjila said. 

The Tshwane council's rules and ethics committee will investigate the concerns raised by opposition political parties. 

Williams denied all the claims made by opposition political parties. 

The bid was withdrawn from the council's agenda on Tuesday.