Graaff-Reinet Advertiser

Concern over ransacked muni properties

- Chriszanne Janse van Vuuren TO PAGE 8

The systematic ransacking of municipal property at the hands of criminal elements has been a matter of ongoing concern. This raises serious questions around the Service Level Agreement for security guarding entered into between the Dr Beyers Naude Local Municipali­ty (DBNLM) and Gap Management (Pty) Ltd on 7 June 2018, particular­ly since many incidents occurred while security guards were posted to safeguard the properties.

Grand scale vandalism

In 2019, Graaff-Reinet Advertiser reported on the dilapidate­d state of the Collie Koeberg Sports Stadium. Fencing around the stadium was destroyed, doors hung off their hinges and windows were shattered.

In July 2019, work to restore the stadium was in full swing and workers were mending the broken wall and fencing. This was done through a partnershi­p between the GraaffRein­et Business Chamber, the DBNLM and contractor­s. Sadly, the new fence and gate have since been stolen and the buildings on the premises have been vandalised almost beyond repair.

Samantha Graham-Maré, DA Member of Parliament, says she has been informed of four different municipal properties at which roofing materials - sheeting and trusses have been stolen.

Three of these properties allegedly had security guards on the premises when the thefts occurred.

On the night of either 7 or 8 June 2020, thieves broke into the Graaff-Reinet traffic offices and made off with a safe full of firearms. At the time police declined to comment on the matter, but, according to a source close to the incident, two security guards were on duty at the time of the burglary.

In 2020 it was reported that the water supply infrastruc­ture at Nqweba Dam has been stolen and the pumps and pipes vandalised. In addition, the continuous vandalism of electrical infrastruc­ture is bleeding the municipali­ty’s coffers dry and impacts on its ability to provide services to the community.

The cost of replacing the cables that have been stolen at the Santa substation, for example, amounted to over R150 000, and residents in the immediate area were without electricit­y for an extended period.

No action taken

The Municipal Finance Management

Act places a duty on the officials of a municipali­ty to ensure that municipal assets are maintained and safeguarde­d. This duty includes the requiremen­t that there should be sufficient security at municipal properties to prevent vandalism, theft and destructio­n.

It is clear that the DBNLM dismally failed in this regard. It is also clear that there has been a serious breach of the Service Level Agreement for the supply of security services at municipal sites that exists between DBNLM and Gap Management (Pty) Ltd.

Clause 7.1 of the Service Level Agreement stipulates that any failure on the part of the service provider to render the services at the

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