Joburg trash heaps up af­ter bun­gle

Business Day - - FRONT PAGE - Claudi Mailovich Po­lit­i­cal Writer mailovichc@busi­

The streets of Jo­han­nes­burg, in­clud­ing in some of the rich­est sub­urbs of the eco­nomic heart of SA, were left with bins full of rub­bish for al­most a week af­ter the city failed to re­new on time a mul­ti­mil­lion-rand con­tract with Avis SA, the ve­hi­cle-rental com­pany in the Bar­loworld group.

Mayor Her­man Mashaba, who was elected as the DA’s first mayor af­ter the 2016 lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tions, hav­ing run on a ticket of im­prov­ing gover­nance, has em­pha­sised clean­ing up the city.

This in­cludes his monthly city-wide clean­ing cam­paign in which res­i­dents are en­cour­aged to join in.

In re­cent months the city has looked worse for wear as Pikitup, the city’s en­tity which is re­spon­si­ble for keep­ing it clean, suf­fered set­backs.

Dis­rup­tions in ser­vice de­liv­ery started ear­lier in 2018 when pro­test­ers de­manded to be ap­pointed as part of 1,400 work­ers in­sourced from ex­ter­nal ser­vice providers.

The protests es­ca­lated, with the vi­o­lence prompt­ing metro po­lice to es­cort Pikitup’s work­ers in Septem­ber.

The re­moval dis­rup­tions that oc­curred last week were due to the bun­gled re­newal of a con­tract. En­vi­ron­ment and in­fra­struc­ture ser­vices MMC Nico de Jager told Busi­ness Day they only re­alised the month-tomonth con­tract had ex­pired on Oc­to­ber 1, when work­ers ar­rived to pick up the rental ve­hi­cles and were told they could not use them.

The per­ma­nent con­tract ex­pired in Oc­to­ber 2017 and has not been re­newed.

De Jager said that it was not Pikitup’s re­spon­si­bil­ity to re­new the con­tract be­cause con­tracts were dealt with cen­trally by the city’s group cor­po­rate and shared ser­vices depart­ment.

Heads must roll over the over­sight that led to Pikitup not hav­ing a full fleet of ve­hi­cles to op­er­ate with, De Jager said.

He has called for an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into how it oc­curred that the cru­cial con­tract, which costs the city about R23m a month, was not re­newed on time.

De Jager said the sit­u­a­tion was dealt with when the city met Avis on Fri­day, and the provider agreed to re­new the con­tract on a month-to-month ba­sis un­til a per­ma­nent con­tract was signed with a new provider. De Jager lamented the costs of rent­ing Pikitup’s fleet, say­ing a new fleet could have been bought con­sid­er­ing the costs of the con­tract, which was agreed to by the former gov­ern­ment that was led by the ANC.

Luyanda Lu­nika, spokesman for group cor­po­rate and shared ser­vices said the con­tract was ex­tended on a month-to-month ba­sis for a pe­riod that did not ex­ceed two months to al­low for a bid process for a per­ma­nent deal to be fi­nalised.

Lu­nika said that the depart­ment is in the process of fi­nal­is­ing the terms of ref­er­ence for the ten­der to be ad­ver­tised.

Ac­cord­ing to Lu­nika, the depart­ment has al­ready started disciplinary in­quiries against of­fi­cials who were en­trusted with en­sur­ing that the con­tract is re­newed on time.


/The Times

Chaos: The streets of Jo­han­nes­burg were left with bins full of rub­bish af­ter the city failed to re­new a mul­ti­mil­lion­rand con­tract with Avis SA on time.

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