GIFA withdraws from controversial Lesedi Aerodrome Project

Issued by Adriana Randall MPL – DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Finance and e-Government
17 Feb 2021 in Press Statements

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has learnt that the Gauteng Infrastructure Financing Agency (GIFA) has now withdrawn from the Lesedi Aerodrome Project, although they have signed a MOU with Lesedi for this project in 2019.

The information was revealed during a recent Finance Portfolio Committee meeting by the CEO of GIFA, Oupa Seabe.

According to the CEO, GIFA was dealing with the Lesedi Aerodrome Project but when the Lesedi Local Municipality advertised the project with flimsy terms of references, the GIFA withdrew. Further to this, the CEO also indicated that this was irregular and the GIFA did not want to be part of it because they knew it would result in a bad product.

Listen to the clip here: https://press-admin.voteda.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/OUPA-SEABE.mp3

This is a concerning revelation as it means that the entire Aerodrome project is illegal, considering the Lesedi Local Municipality decided to defy the council resolution on the Memorandum of Understanding with the GIFA.

In addition, the municipality did not follow the Public Private Partnership regulations as set out by National Treasury. No transaction advisor was appointed nor registered for the project with National Treasury. The views of National Treasury were also not solicited for this project.

No feasibility studies as required have been conducted for this project, but a 60-year lease has already been awarded to MTP Aviation Solutions who received a letter via WhatsApp to inform them that they have been successful in tendering for this project.

If the project was “disposed of” via the Municipal Transfer Regulation process, then the process is just as flawed, since only seven of the eight requirements of these regulations’ requirements have been met thus far, yet the project was already handed over to MTP during a function on Friday 12 February 2021.

For any Municipal property transfer contract exceeding 10-years, and Notarial Contract is required, and the Council must approve of such draft agreement. To date no such draft agreement has served before Council either.

I have already tabled written questions in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature to the MEC for Finance regarding the Lesedi Aerodrome Project. It is unacceptable that a R7 billion project will not benefit the Lesedi Local Municipality but only some politically-connected individuals.