ANC vows to crack open R1billion IRT secret deal

If Cape Town has its way, the public will never know why the cost of the new Integrated Rapid Transport system mysteriously escalated by almost a billion rand.

If Cape Town has its way, the public will never know why the cost of the new Integrated Rapid Transport system mysteriously escalated by almost a billion rand.

This because the city yesterday struck a deal allowing its executive director of transport, roads and storm water, Eddie Chinnappen, to resign quietly under a confidentiality agreement.

Two months ago it emerged that the city's IRT system, which was supposed to cost R1,4billion, had escalated to R2,3billion without explanation.

As a result the upgrade of township routes was put on hold and the city announced that it only had enough money to upgrade inner city buses and set up a link to the airport.

Chinnappen was facing disciplinary charges over the debacle, but had told the city he intended to plead not guilty. But yesterday city spokesperson Kylie Hatton said private mediators had brokered a deal between the city and Chinnappen.

In terms of the deal Chinnappen would resign and the city would release a public statement that "no fraud or dishonesty on his part has been established or alleged" against Chinnappen.

The whole deal was accompanied by a confidentiality clause.

Hatton said an internal city investigation had recommended that Chinnappen alone be charged for the debacle. But since Chinnappen had resigned, the investigation would go no further.

But the ANC says it will overturn the city's confidentiality agreement and reveal the reasons to the public.

"We will demand the reasons why Chinnappen has resigned because they have been hiding this information from us for a very long time," ANC city councillor Xolani Sotashe told Sowetan.

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