PRETORIA – The ANC’s election performance in the country’s capital is perhaps one of the strongest indications that political power rests with the people.
Now a coalition government has to pick up the pieces of a city in financial ruin.
Last year the city of Tshwane was forced to terminate its controversial electricity smart meter contract with PEU Capital Partners after the validity of the tender was challenged in court.
By the time the tender was cancelled the city had already paid PEU more than R800-million – an amount the Auditor-General deemed irregular expenditure.
The project, which was aimed at improving revenue collection, had gone ahead despite the strong advice of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan against it.
PEU is still being paid millions every month while the court case continues and the public protector investigates. But it seems that under outgoing Tshwane mayor Kgosientso “Sputla” Ramokgopa fruitless and wasteful expenditure was the order of the day.
When Thoko Didiza was announced as the ANC mayoral candidate for the city, Ramokgopa’s supporters went on the rampage, hailing him as a champion of job creation and threatening to withhold their vote for the ANC if he was not retained as mayor.
What wasn’t disclosed at the time was the hefty cost of some of Ramokgopa’s job-creation initiatives.