ON GUARD: A security company is paid R2.9 million a month by the provincial government to secure the illegally occupied Helen Bowden site. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency (ANA)
A security company paid R2.9million a month by the provincial government to secure the illegally occupied Helen Bowden site is clouded in secrecy, with no website or alternative contact information.

But the Western Cape department of Transport and Public Works says Masiqhame Trading 540 cc, contracted at the site, is an accredited company on the Western Cape Government’s supplier database and that having a website is not a requirement for eligibility to render a professional service.

Siphesihle Dube, spokesperson for Transport and Public Works MEC Donald Grant, said during the ongoing occupation various incidents had occurred at the site, amounting to serious security risks that had demanded the urgent attention of the department.

Grant referred the Cape Argus to ANC MPL Cameron Dugmore, citing that he has replied to questions on this.

“I don’t have information on this issue right now. I am out of town and I will be out of town for two days. What I do know is that the company is registered on our database and to get on there they need to have everything in order,” he said.

Grant has previously answered, though, that he is not aware of the board or directors of the company.

Jacqueline Gooch, head of the department, last week during a briefing said the department at first spent about R300000 on security a month.

But as matters worsened at the site, it was forced to increase security, that came at cost of R2.9 m a month. The total cost for security was R18m between July 2017 and March 2018.

Masiqhame Trading 540 cc has no website or contact number on the internet. It has a post box registered in Franschhoek, but another company Franschhoek Estate Security has the same post box.

A contact number for Franschhoek Estate Security is also not working.

The Cape Argus visited the site on Monday and found a few children playing on the grounds with fewer security guards at the entrances. About 10 guards were sitting around a table chatting.

Dube said the Helen Bowden site was an extraordinary situation.

“Individuals, supported by various interest groups, invaded and unlawfully occupied state property, creating a situation characterised by violence, vandalism and theft,” he said.

Cape Argus