In an unprecedented move, the City of Cape Town will convene a special full city council meeting on Tuesday, behind closed doors.
The meeting has been set to discuss alleged tender irregularities related to major transport projects in the city.
It’s understood this includes the Foreshore Freeway Project intended to decide on the future of the unfinished freeways that would alleviate traffic but also develop opportunities for affordable housing in the inner city.
It’s alleged that the tender process has been manipulated to favour a proposal preferred by a top city official.
Council speaker Dirk Smit has confirmed Tuesday’s special meeting but has declined to confirm what will be discussed.
He says he was requested to convene the meeting on instruction from the mayor in accordance with disciplinary regulations related to senior managers.
It is understood that the council will be asked to decide whether to initiate disciplinary proceedings against two senior executives - the city’s transport and urban development commissioner Melissa Whitehead and Craig Kesson - the executive director in the mayor’s office.
Whitehead has been embroiled in a series of controversy in recent weeks over alleged tender irregularities involving the acquisition of electric buses for the city as well as nepotism claims related to appointments in her department.
Sources report that Democratic Alliance (DA) councillors pushed for the special meeting after Kesson blew the whistle on suspected corruption.
This comes after a panel considering the bids for the Foreshore Freeway Project was dissolved and a new bid evaluation committee was constituted, causing bidders to smell a rat.
In March, the city unveiled six proposals for the redevelopment of the unfinished bridges.
At the time, it said it would take four months to evaluate the proposals.
Sources have indicated that the city council will be asked to recommend that city manager Achmat Ebrahim be ordered to initiate a full investigation into the matter.