The affordable education loan option
Durban - Controversial Pietermaritzburg tenderpreneur Paris Dlamini has scored big again with a city parking management tender worth millions over the next three years.
Dlamini and his company Panzascore-DPS JV entered into a joint venture with Johannesburg-based company Dynamic Parking Solutions and secured the city job late last year. Media mogul Riquadeu Jacobs and former ANC councillor Rienus Niemand are co-directors.
The system came into effect in February in what city officials say is a worthy project to clean up the CBD and use a necessary cash injection to stabilise a municipality that is in a parlous financial state.
This is despite Panzascore-DPS JV taking the lion’s share of revenue derived from the system, nearly R1 million a year, while it remains in its infancy and deals with teething problems like the unwillingness of motorists to hand over change.
As the project moves to a predicted second and third phase, millions will be channelled to Panzascore-DPS JV, which enjoys a 35 percent stake in the total takings, compared to Msunduzi’s 25 percent stake.
At its height, the venture could earn a tidy R75m over the next three years.
Their employees, who they say benefit most, have hit out. While on paper they enjoy the largest stake, with 40 percent of revenue generated daily, they say they barely break even.
A Sunday Tribune investigation, using figures provided by Panzascore-DPS JV and the Msunduzi Municipality, established that meter operators earn barely R400 a month, compared to the city’s R50 000 and Panzascore-DPS JV’s R70 000.
Panzascore-DPS JV operate out of a double garage behind Ekuseni Personnel Consultants, owned by Dlamini.
When approached by the Sunday Tribune, Niemand said, “The regulation of parking, together with the municipality’s enforcement of other traffic by-laws, has increased access to the CBD as parking is now readily available. Previously, many parking bays were fully occupied for the day by people employed in the CBD. This not only suffocated business but also negatively affected the car guards.”
He said one of the biggest social benefits of the system, rather than automated self-help kiosks, is jobs are created.
“In phase one we would have created over 150 opportunities. Each of the attendants are screened by the SAPS, trained and then deployed, with proper uniforms. We have expanded our training programme to include a tourism ambassador module and we have integrated our attendants into the Safe City anti-crime project,” said Niemand.
Jacobs declined to comment.
Dlamini’s lawyer, PK Coetzee, said the businessman’s political connections had not landed him the tender andhe held a 6 percent shareholding in the joint venture.
Municipal manager Mxolisi Nkosi confirmed that at present, Panzascore-DPS JV hands over R50 000 a month.
“When operating in full swing we anticipate that it (will) generate as high as R150 000 per month,” he said.
This figure is underestimated according to total revenue generated by the project, which should see the city pocketing over R500 000 a month.
Nkosi said 50 permanent jobs had been created and some of those employed were previously car guards.
He rejected claims that Panzascore-DPS JV had hijacked a lucrative project and was stifling the city. “It is our considered view that there is no party that will unjustly benefit from this programme. It must be mentioned that this municipality had not been charging parking for more than a decade. Currently the municipality is benefiting to the tune of R50 000 per month without investing any money on the infrastructure. It can therefore only be fair that the private party should enjoy more benefits compared to the municipality due to their contribution in terms of capital outlay.
“It was a decision of the municipality to outsource this service because the council did not have the resources to invest in the system at that point in time, since it had to prioritise certain areas like electricity, water and sanitation.”
DA deputy chief caucus whip Mergen Chetty said the party had objected to the awarding of the contract. “We believe that contrary to the presentation that was made indicating that this project was to benefit the poor, it indeed did not. We had also raised concerns regarding the safety of having the attendants being in possession of monies … that would place them at risk.”
Chetty questioned the parking attendants’ power to enforce the by-laws.