ETHEKWINI NEWS FLASH

13 NOVEMBER 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

City Implements Austerity Measures To Reduce Security Costs

A preliminary security cost analysis recently conducted by eThekwini Municipality has revealed that Council could save an access of R 8 million by employing 96 in-house VIP Security Guards.

The assessment considered all areas where security is presently provided with the intention of reducing the costs of security to Council. 

In view of this, the Municipality therefore initiated a process of replacing outsourced security contracts with insourced staff.

The Municipality has been criticised for its high security bill. This has also been a grave concern to the City leadership hence this bold step that the City has taken to reduce costs.

The process of engaging insourced security personnel will consider the proposals in the draft Military Veteran’s Policy as indicated by National Government.

The Military Veterans Act states that the benefits of military veterans and their dependants must be identified and, where possible, remedied.

The Military Veterans Act of 2011 further states the following:

(2) Any policy regarding the affairs of military veterans must be aimed at— 

(a) recognising and honouring military veterans in life and remembering them in death for their sacrifices on behalf of the nation; 

(b) ensuring a smooth and seamless transition for military veterans from active military service to civilian life;

(c) restoring the capability of military veterans with disabilities to the greatest extent possible; (d) improving the quality of life of military veterans and of their dependants; 

(e) providing a comprehensive delivery system of benefits and services for military veterans; 

(f) ensuring that military veterans as a resource enhance the national work force and contribute to the prosperity and development of the country; and 

(g) contributing toward reconciliation and nation building.

Currently the City is preparing the specifications for a new security tender, as the 60 new former Military Veterans that have been engaged are insufficient.

The engagement process will follow the required security cluster processes including police clearance. This is being done prior to the employment of security personnel.

Further, to this the Municipality is engaging with the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority to guide us in cases where Military Veterans are found to have criminal records.

However, in the long-term the City intends to phase-out outsourced security companies by replacing them with in-house security personnel.

The in-house proposal will require a once off Capital funding of R1 372 000 for the purchase of 96 guns, 96 bullet proof vests and two vehicles.

The amount spent on security is justified as the services currently being provided by these security companies include:

  • Providing security to Council property as the City owns assets worth billions of rands that need to be protected;
  • Providing VIP protection to Councillors who receive threats to their lives. The decision to provide Councillors with security is not taken lightly but it is based on threat analysis reports from the SAPS, Crime Intelligence Unit and in some cases the National Intelligence Unit;
  • Escorting Council employees such as those from the Electricity Unit, who work under compromising situations. They are often assigned to disconnect illegal connections and need to be provided with security to ensure their safety.

The security contracts worth approximately R500 million awarded in terms of Section 36 of the Supply-Chain Management Policy as tabled in the recent Executive Committee report was for a 14month period which began in July 2014 and expired in September.

The rationale behind awarding this security tender is that Council was not in a position to withdraw the existing service from the sites where security had been deployed as this would have compromised the safety and security of Council assets, staff and the public, therefore, appointments for security contractors were done in terms of Section 36.

The Section 36 tender procedure was utilised as an interim arrangement due to an application that had been filed by a service provider and pending at that time in the Supreme Court.

The court challenge was brought by Tactical Security Services and the Municipality won the case. Further to that Tactical Security Service’s application was dismissed with Tactical Security Services ordered to pay the Municipality’s costs.

However, the fact that the City is getting value for money for providing security does not prevent the Municipality from looking at ways to reduce costs. 

For obvious safety reasons the Municipality is not in a position to discuss the number of guards per Councillor, the areas being guarded, where valuable Municipal assets are located or the number of guards that escort Municipal officials when conducting illegal disconnections of water and electricity.

ENDS

Issued by eThekwini Municipality’s Communications Head, Tozi Mthethwa.

For more information contact Gugu Mbonambi on 0313114855 or email:gugu.mbonambi@durban.gov.za or Princess Nkabane on 031 311 4818 or email: princess.nkabane@durban.gov.za

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