NEWS & ANALYSIS

High Court confirms illegality of "red fleet" tender - Geoffery Makhubo

Joburg Mayor says judgment shows up the previous administration as corrupt and ethically flawed

HIGH COURT CONFIRMS ILLEGALITY AND UNCONSTITUTIONALITY OF CITY RED FLEET TENDER PROCESS AND AWARD UNDER FORMER MAYOR

6 April 2021

ON 29 March 2021, the Gauteng Local Division of the High Court, Johannesburg handed down judgement pursuant to an earlier order of invalidity made in relation to the City's tender process for the procurement of 92 fire and rescue vehicles ('the red fleet').

The above order stems from the judgment of the High Court handed down on 2 June 2020, in terms of which it declared the tender process for the procurement of the red fleet, the decision to award the tender, and the subsequent contract between the first respondent and the second respondent tender unlawful and constitutionally invalid. The declaration of invalidity was suspended by the High Court pending its determination of a just and equitable remedy under section 172(1((b) of the Constitution.

The Executive Mayor of the City, Cllr. Geoffery Makhubo, has once more lamented that "the judgement confirms that the previous administration under former Mayor Mashaba, was a corrupt and ethically flawed administration whose actions sought to award tenders in the City without adherence to due process and legislation."

"The City of Johannesburg under the former Mayor and Councilor Michael Sun paid R 172 million for fire engines that were and still are, desperately needed by the City but that were never delivered and were procured on defective specifications."

These illegal, irregular and unconstitutional procurement processes that characterized the DA/EFF reign of impunity in the City have led to the City accumulating a record R 3,5 billion in unauthorized, irregular, wasteful and fruitless expenditure in the 2018/19 and 2019/20 financial years.

It has thus been shocking that the Democratic Alliance would have the audacity to accuse this administration of being unresponsive to the fire and rescue needs of the City when its administration mismanaged close to R 200 million intended specifically for these same vehicles.

They lack the credibility let alone ethical standing to question a government that is determined to act against malfeasance and the kind of delinquency and ignorance for law and process that thrived from 2016 in the City.

"We are pleased that the Courts have ordered that the fire engines paid for by the City be delivered within 60 days and that the remainder of the order for remaining vehicles was declared legally invalid, cancelled and terminated forthwith."

"The judgement now opens way for the city to undertake a legal and competitive process in line with s217 of the Constitution for the procurement of fire and rescue vehicles to meet the current requirements and mitigate the risk currently suffered by residents."

The Executive Mayor wishes to assure residents that the City will move swiftly to procure fire and rescue vehicles and will do so in a legal, transparent and competitive manner which is a departure from past practice under the previous administration.

Statement issued by Mlimandlela Ndamase, Director: Mayoral Communications, City of Johannesburg, 6 April 2021