A payment of R950 million to Peu Capital Partners by the Tshwane metro was temporarily halted by the North Gauteng High Court on Wednesday.
The decision by the court followed a successful urgent application by the civil rights organisation AfriForum, which argued the municipality had tried to “sneak through” the massive payment to Peu with the knowledge that the ill-fated contract for the city’s smart pre-paid electricity was not above board.
The court made an interim order preventing the payment of amounts totalling R950 million to Peu, giving the Tshwane metro until 5 July to give reasons why the order should not be made permanent.
AfriSake, a division of AfriForum, filed the urgent application after it learnt that the metro was about to pay over the money.
The controversial multi-billion rand contract between the metro and Peu was cancelled in May last year, after the deal had been found to be irregular.
National government had warned Tshwane on several occasions not to enter into the contract, saying it was, among other reasons, too expensive.
The metro however, concluded the contract with Peu and smart electricity meters were rolled out in the city.
During the 2014/15 financial year, Peu was paid some R830 million despite only 12 900 smart meters had been installed – a per meter price of R64 341.08!