ANC in Tshwane spearheads motion of no confidence against mayor as probe begins into R26bn power bid
It remains to be seen if the ANC in Tshwane will garner enough support to topple Williams, whose political future hangs on an independent probe that will deliver results in about two months.
The Tshwane multi-party coalition government has resorted to establishing an independent investigation to probe allegations of impropriety against executive mayor Randall Williams, relating to a R26-billion unsolicited bid.
The bid relates to obtaining a service provider, which Williams had allegedly handpicked, to obtain a concession to refurbish, finance, operate and maintain the Pretoria West and Rooiwal power stations.
William previously argued that the initiative would have helped the City of Tshwane become free of rolling blackouts.
The proposal was later withdrawn by Williams, a move that political parties welcomed and dubbed a victory for Tshwane residents and a vindication of their position.
The independent body, which is yet to be established, is expected to conclude its investigation within the next 60 days and present a report to coalition partners before its public release, said the Coalition Oversight Group (COG).
The decision was taken by the COG, which comprises national, provincial and caucus leaders of political parties, following a meeting on Tuesday night.
“The people of Tshwane deserve a responsible government with sound stewardship of taxpayers’ money and the multi-party coalition remains committed to providing a viable alternative to the failed ANC government,” COG said in a statement.
During the course of the meeting, coalition partners said they were committed to resolving the vulnerability of residents to Eskom rolling blackouts as a priority that should find expression in a competitive procurement process.
In the same breath, the coalition partners said they were equally committed to the coalition government and to clean governance.
“The coalition is dedicated to combat all forms of corruption, irregularities and mismanagement,” the COG said in a satement.
Visit Daily Maverick’s home page for more news, analysis and investigations
Daily Maverick previously reported on a leaked audio recording from a year ago in which Williams can be heard instructing senior officials to support his executive decision — “whether they agree or disagree” — for the unsolicited bid, while another official warns that the council could face possible litigation.
Randall previously denied wrongdoing in the public participation report on a proposal concerning the leasing of land on which the city’s power stations are located.
The COG’s decision comes amid a motion of no confidence sponsored by the ANC — which was relegated to opposition benches after the 2021 local government elections — and is due to take place on Thursday.
The ANC’s regional spokesperson, Bafuze Yabo said the party was forging ahead with its planned motion, despite whether or not it would garner enough support to topple Williams.
“There has been a continuous interphase with different political parties on the motion, but, even if there isn’t any support from other parties, as the ANC we are proceeding with the motion,” he said.
Yabo said the decision to sponsor a motion of no-confidence was not self-motivated.
“We feel that it is our duty to protect the integrity of council and under the circumstances, to stand by and say nothing of the condition of council under the mayor will be to be complicit, so it is a principled stance.”
In an unexpected move on Tuesday afternoon, the national leadership of the EFF announced that it would rally behind the ANC’s motion.
“We support the motion of no confidence against the mayor of Tshwane. We’re the ones who exposed the corruption in Tshwane where the mayor was trying to coerce staff members to do illegal things. We’re at the forefront of that campaign,” Julius Malema said while responding to a question during a media briefing.
ActionSA and the IFP are expected not to support the motion.
IFP Convenor, Ziyanda Zwane said, “as the IFP we will not support the motion that is brought by the ANC because we are co-governing the city with DA and other coalition partners, so it has never happened in history that part of the governing coalitions is supporting motions that are brought by the opposition.”
Zwane further said although the party could see the wrongdoings of the mayor, it would, “have our own way on how to deal with issues as the coalition government but we are not going to support the motion that is the stand of the IFP.”
The ANC further added, “If we get support, then it’s all good and well, if we don’t, then the principle will be carried, we will be vindicated,” said Yabo. DM