De Lille, Neilson in War of Words

Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille. Credit: EWN.

Patricia de Lille and Ian Nielson are once again squaring up for a battle.

This time it’s the cancellation of the city’s Foreshore Freeway tender that’s led to a public boiling over of tensions between the mayor and her deputy.

Neilson claims that De Lille not only supported the problematic tender but attempted to hide problems when they arose as a quick fix to deal with the city’s social housing problems.

De Lille says the cancellation of the tender does not mean the end of the project and that Neilson’s allegations against her, are baseless.

The R8 billion Foreshore Freeway project would have seen the redevelopment of the unfinished highway with the aim of simultaneously alleviating traffic congestion and addressing the shortage of affordable housing in the CBD.

Deputy Mayor Ian Neilson says that with the tender being cancelled over legal challenges, questions must be asked about whether it was deliberately drafted in a manner to suit a preferred bidder.

“We have to look now more carefully at how this directorate is to be managed into the future and whether it is structured properly and so on.”

De Lille says that Neilson’s allegations are defamatory and she will sue him if he doesn’t provide evidence to support his claims.

She adds that he is opposed to bringing about spatial transformation in the city, and the project is in line with the city’s development plan and the Democratic Alliance (DA)’s manifesto.