The findings of the investigation into Tshwane mayor Randall Williams’ “undue influence” on officials in the multi-billion rand energy deal will be critical to his future in government as the ANC plans a takeover.
In August, Williams was accused of putting pressure on officials to approve an unsolicited bid by Kratos Energy.
Had it been successful, the bid would have resulted in the Australian company operating two Tshwane-owned power stations, and supplying energy to the municipality, reports Pretoria Rekord.
A report on the independent investigation is due at the end of the month.
Recently, the Johannesburg metro DA-led government coalition collapsed, and the ANC was elected into political leadership.
The ANC has since engaged in talks with ActionSA to form a partnership that would take over Tshwane. With ActionSA’s support as a coalition partner, the ANC could lead Tshwane again.
Speaking to Pretoria Rekord, ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba described the coalition in the Capital City as being in a “precarious” situation.
He said the unsecure partnership was due to his party having a problem with Williams’ style of management, citing the Kratos allegation as an example.
“One of our problems is also the Rooiwal treatment plant upgrade project that was previously awarded to Edwin Sodi’s company -[it was] done in an illegal manner and we want accountability from those involved,” he said.
Mashaba said his party had meetings with the ANC following the collapse of the coalition in Johannesburg, but said ActionSA “will not enter into a coalition with the ANC”.
Mashaba said their members were not happy with the state of coalitions, and as a result, the party this week began a public participation process to ask its voters which party should they form a partnership with.
“The results of the survey will guide [us] which party we can form partnerships withm but I am convinced that our people will not allow us to form a coalition with the ANC.”
Political analyst and Unisa professor Dirk Kotze said the findings of the report into Williams will be critical in determining the future of the coalition.
Kotze said should Williams be found to be in the wrong, then the DA will be pushed into a corner to replace him.
“But it is a tough one, because it will necessitate the DA to withdraw Williams as the mayor and replace him. That is something that I would say in principle Hellen Zille is against.”
The DA supported Williams even when coalition partners voiced unhappiness with his leadership.
Kotze said ActionSA’s unwillingness to work with ANC could save the coalition from losing Tshwane.
“If there is a motion of no confidence against Williams brought by the ANC or EFF, it is less likely that ActionSA will support that, although they have internal coalition problems.”
Despite much bickering within the coalition, Kotze said they might be able to finish the five-year term, unlike in Johannesburg, if the DA and ActionSA find a way to work together.
“We must let them [residents] know that we will fight to keep the coalition government strong,” Williams said during a media briefing earlier this month.
“I want to take this opportunity to assure our residents that our multiparty coalition government in Tshwane is stable.
“I am not trying to paint a rosy picture, as managing a coalition government with all the various political interests is no easy task.
“Indeed, we do at times disagree, and often this plays out publicly, but we have clearly defined conflict-resolution mechanisms which help us to move forward,” he said.
Edited by Nica Richards.
This article first appeared on Caxton publication Pretoria Rekord’s website, by Sinesipho Schrieber. Read the original article here.