Mashaba not happy with City Power

 

JOBURG — Mayor Herman Mashaba acknowledged City Power board’s acceptance of its managing director, Sicelo Xulu’s request to go on leave,

But he said he is deeply dissatisfied with the manner in which the board of City Power has handled the serious allegations of corruption that have been brought to them.

Xulu last week offered to take leave with immediate effect pending the finalisation of the forensic investigation.

In response, the board said that they were advised to not suspend Xulu, but accepted his offer.

Before this decision, the entity’s board chairperson, Reverend Frank Chikane addressed the media on 16 February speaking about the board’s position on the recently commissioned forensic investigation into alleged fraud and corruption at the entity.

Photo: Reverend Frank Chikane, chairperson of the City Power board, at a called media briefing about investigations into the utility.

 

Chikane said that he is eager to stop corruption and welcomes the mayor’s investigation.

“I instructed staff to not only comply with the investigation but to assist,” he said.

Talk of Mashaba pressuring officials came from the African National Congress’ Johannesburg caucus, which also predicted the removal of Anthony Still, now the former MMC for Environment and Infrastructure Development, the department that oversees entities like City Power. Still was removed by

Still was removed by Mashaba allegedly because, he said, he did not want to, nor had the legal right to, suspend Xulu, who has now taken voluntary leave.

Related article: City Power MD on leave pending investigations

On pressures from Mashaba to axe Xulu, Chikane declined to comment and said about issues that happened within the shareholder’s environment, particularity at a party level, ‘we can’t get involved.’

“The only thing I can say is that we have carried our fiducial responsibilities in the manner that the law expects us to do,” he said.

Mashaba said senior officials should, indeed, be placed on suspension while cases of alleged corruption are being investigated, in this case, because a number of witnesses came forward alleging they were intimidated.

Mashaba said he will voice his concerns with the entity during its annual general meeting on 16 March.

Read: Still: I was unable to follow Mashaba’s instruction 

City Power has been plagued by long existing and deep-rooted problems resulting in the mismanagement of finances and the failure to provide our residents with uninterrupted electricity supply, chiefly because of the failure to upgrade and maintain aging infrastructure.

“The fact that billions of rand are lost as a result of corruption within the entity only helps to exasperate the problems. This is money that could have gone towards upgrading aging infrastructure and expanding electricity infrastructure to the many communities and informal settlements that are still living without this important resource,” he said.

You can also read: BREAKING NEWS: Mashaba fires MMC Anthony Still

Mashaba appointed Nico De Jager as the new MMC for Environment and Infrastructure Development and said of him, ” He has the tenacity to address the serious issues that plague the delivery of services from the City entities that operate under this department. I regard this to be the most important aspect of any candidate for this position.”

The current investigation is expected to be finalised in the next few weeks and will make its findings and recommendations available to the public.

What are your thoughts on the City Power investigation? Tell us by sending an email to chantellef@caxton.co.za.

 

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