Faku: you’ll do it my way

Nwabisa Makunga and Rochelle de Kock

NELSON Mandela Bay municipal bosses have been summoned to appear before the ANC to explain why they have taken major, lucrative decisions without getting permission from the party’s regional headquarters.

In a scathing five-page letter to mayor Zanoxolo Wayile, a fuming ANC leader Nceba Faku insists that his office should have been consulted before the recent appointments of two companies to run Port Elizabeth’s new Integrated Public Transport System (IPTS).

The multimillion-rand contract did not go out to tender.

On Tuesday, Faku’s secretary, Zandisile Qupe, summoned Wayile, his deputy Nancy Sihlwayi, chief whip Feziwe Sibeko, acting municipal manager Themba Hani, council speaker Maria Hermans and all the portfolio committee chairmen to a retreat in Port Alfred this weekend.

In the letter, Qupe told them to compile extensive reports on the performance of their various offices.

He wants the reports on his desk at noon today. He also wants them to present the reports at the My Pond Hotel from 7pm tomorrow.

They were further expected to arrange their own accommodation in Port Alfred, Qupe wrote.

Wayile’s spokesman, Luncedo Njezula, said yesterday the mayor had not indicated whether he would go to Port Alfred. Qupe also instructed them to postpone today’s council meeting because the regional executive committee (REC) did not want a discussion on the extension of Hani’s contract as well as the filling of executive director positions, which he said were political deployment posts.

“The REC has resolved that these matters should not be directly or indirectly discussed in the council meeting until the REC has been duly consulted,” he wrote.

However, Hermans said yesterday she had not been informed that she should postpone today’s meeting and it would therefore go ahead as planned.

By law, a council meeting can only be postponed in cases of emergency, at least 48 hours prior to it.

In his letter, Faku said he was concerned he had only found out from a report published in The Herald last week that the IPTS contract had been awarded.

He questioned why the contract had been given to companies outside the Bay, instead of benefiting businesses here.

Faku lambasted Wayile, saying he had “harboured hope that the rift and mistrust” between the ANC and its deployees in the municipality would be possible to mend.

“The daily turn of events is crushing that hope and it is becoming much clearer that things need radical changes and immediate intervention,” Faku wrote.

“Refusing to work with legitimate structures of the organisation and refusing to subject yourself to the will of the collective is more damaging to your leadership than to the ANC.

“The ANC always has a way to rescue itself.

“Service delivery and political protests are becoming a permanent feature in our metro; a meaningful engagement with structures of the metro, including ANC branches, is awaited.

“Your grip is not holding,” Faku said.

He questioned:

  • How and by whom Mhleli Tshamase, the acting project manager of the IPTS, was appointed?
  • Whether or not Tshamase had a contract with the metro and how much he earned?
  • How competent he was with “IPTS matters”?

He also wanted details of the companies appointed to run the IPTS and how they were appointed.

The Herald reported last week that Lumen Technologies had a budget of R174-million to manage the IPTS system and develop the infrastructure for the project.

ICT Works, which will develop and run the automated fare collection system, has been given a budget of R40-million for the pilot phase.

The companies manage Cape Town’s MyCiti bus system.

Responding to the letter, Wayile said he noted its content but felt strongly that “matters of strategic importance between the ANC and its deployees on issues of governance could not be dealt with in the media”.

However, in response to some of Faku’s questions on the IPTS, Wayile said the matter was being handled “with due regard to council processes and applicable legislation as set out in various pieces of legislation”.

“In so far as procurement of goods or services within the municipality is concerned, the supply chain management [SCM] policy permits the procurement of goods or services from a service provider who has already been appointed by another organ of state,” he said.

“This provision is found in Section 32 of the SCM policy.

“With regards to the procurement of goods and services for the IPTS project, the municipality intends to ensure that a prospective service provider partners with local business.

“The step that we still need to comply with is submitting a report to the bid committees for their consideration.”

Wayile admitted the municipality had been premature in informing the two companies that they had been awarded the contracts, but said that would be rectified.

“In as far as consultations with stakeholders and our social partners are concerned, the municipality has, during the months of May and June, convened preliminary consultations with various stakeholders, including sessions with the ANC, business, labour and other strategic sectors to inform them of the intention to roll out the project,” he said.

“Also, a report was tabled before council during May and a workshop with councillors was conducted.

“We have also had consultative sessions with the Department of Transport in the EC, national Treasury as well as the national Department of Transport.”

Responding to questions about Tshamase’s appointment, Wayile said it was regulated by council’s staff establishment policy as well as the acting policy. “Currently, there are three officials who have been seconded to the project.”

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