City’s sole security provider

2015-01-02 00:00

MSUNDUZI Municipality’s security ­contracts have a history of controversy, and the latest tender bid appears to be no different.

While the latest security contract was advertised in 2013, more than a year later it has still not been fully awarded. There are allegations that the delay is unfairly benefitting the current service provider, Khuselani (KSA). Sources within the security industry, who did not want to be named, said KSA has been the municipality’s sole security service provider since 2010 and this position is based on the security tender issued in 2009.

They say that contract has long since expired, yet the tender that was advertised and closed in 2013 has never been fully put into effect.

The allegation that KSA was unfairly benefitting has been further fuelled by what security observers call a strange anomaly.

Apparently the 2013 security contract was split into two parts, Section One and Section Two.

Section One was the large part of the contract, contributing more than 95% of its total monetary value.

This was not awarded, with the bids seemingly gathering dust in some municipal offices. However, Section Two, for the smaller amount of five percent, was allegedly awarded to KSA.

Observers say this means that KSA is in effect in control of the entire Msunduzi security service.

The observers allege that in 2009 KSA’s pricing for Section 1 was approximately R900 000 plus VAT per month. However today, based on figures of the 2013 contract, the company is allegedly being paid over R2,7 million plus VAT per month.

Municipal insiders are also aware of the alleged discrepancies and share the views of the security industry observers.

A former council employee, who also did not want to be named, said this means that the contract value was now more than 300% of what it originally was. The former employee said that according to the municipality’s own supply chain policy, no contract should exceed its original value by more than 15%. If this happens the municipality is obliged to issue a new tender.

“National Treasury has also issued a Practice Note in this regard, concerning tenders which exceed their initial value by more than 10%,” the former worker said.

Municipal insiders say that not everyone is happy with the services provided by KSA.

There have been alleged complaints of under-performance, but no penalties have been issued. Sources within the municipality said there has been criticism from the public as well of guards allegedly turning a blind eye to electricity theft in, for example, the Copesville area.

There are allegations of site break-ins, theft of municipal property and ­short-posting of security guards, but these have allegedly been ignored.

There were also allegations that more work was being created seemingly for more guards to be called up. For example, if only two guards were needed on a ­particular site, four would be allegedly called up. It is alleged that this is why ­money being paid on the security contract has ballooned from R900 000 plus VAT in 2010 to R2,8 million.

Some staff suggested that the Internal Audit Unit or some outside investigators should be looking at all of this. They ­suggest also that there should be spot site visits, as well as a thorough examination of the records.

Some insiders alleged the situation was allowed to prevail because there were no checks and balances and that just one ­person called the shots on the security contract, the head of security, Kwenza Khumalo. They also picked on an issue previously aired in this paper questioning whether Khumalo had the qualifications for the job.

Khumalo contacted The Witness on the issue of his qualifications and said that as far as he was aware this matter had been dealt with and laid to rest.

He pointed out that the municipality also recently held a qualifications verifications audit. He did not comment on the allegations around the security contract.

Msunduzi spokesperson Thobeka ­Mafumatha said that several allegations were being made and that these were ­being investigated before a detailed response can be given to The Witness.

KSA owner Mahomed Yacoob was also sent a detailed e-mail on the allegations.

His office was also called and the reporters contact details left with his personal assistant (PA) but he had not returned any calls nor responded to the e-mails by the time of going to press.

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