Concern over ransacked muni properties
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