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Altron’s Tshwane broadband tender is valid, ConCourt rules

Admire Moyo
By Admire Moyo, ITWeb's news editor.
Johannesburg, 21 May 2021

JSE-listed Altron has expressed its pleasure with the Constitutional Court ruling that affirmed the Supreme Court of Appeal’s previous ruling to the effect that the broadband network contract awarded to Thobela Telecoms, a special purpose vehicle in which Altron Nexus is a minority shareholder, is valid and binding.

In a statement today, Altron says in an order dated 19 May, the Constitutional Court refused the City of Tshwane’s application for condonation and dismissed the application for leave to appeal with costs.

Altron group executive for legal Hansie Schutte expressed the company’s satisfaction with the decision.

“We are pleased with the outcome of the Constitutional Court’s order and we see this judgement as a victory for the people of Tshwane and all companies who obey the rule of the law as well as the funders involved in this project.”

The matter relates to a dispute between Thobela Telecoms and City of Tshwane over the city’s allegations that the tender award process was irregular due to internal processes and procedures at the City of Tshwane not being correctly followed.

The project was later put on hold by the City of Tshwane, pending the outcome of the litigation proceedings.

The city subjected the multibillion-rand broadband contract to judicial review after discovering what it says were serious irregularities, which "taint the legality of the deal".

Tshwane's administration, then led by the Democratic Alliance, instituted an investigation into the procurement process of the deal after the auditor-general (AG) found the contract to be irregular.

The AG's report determined the value of the contract at R2.73 billion.

Solly Msimanga, who led the administration at the time, contended “the broadband contract and its procurement are riddled with irregularities and non-compliance".