Tshwane starts phasing out private contractors with unveiling of specialised fleet of vehicles
Pretoria – The unveiling of the brand-new 439 specialised fleet of vehicles in Tshwane on Tuesday marked the beginning of phasing out private contractors in the municipality, said chief administrator Mpho Nawa.
The announcement was made at Tshwane House following last week's disastrous service delivery, which included uncollected refuse in various parts of the city.
Refuse was not collected after the metro failed to appoint new contractors prior to the expiry of the contract, which had expired in July and subsequently extended by a month.
The process to appoint new service providers, which would be charged with collecting refuse from the households, would be concluded by the end of this month.
The newly purchased trucks would be utilised for clearing rubbish from private businesses.
The vehicles were fitted with state-of- the-art equipment and the latest professional’s tools on the market.
The fleet included 15 waste trucks comprising 19 and 12 cubic metre refuse compactors and skip loaders, one mobile library truck to assist the city’s communities and three earth-moving equipment.
Also included were six skip loaders, eight personnel carders trucks for transportation of employees to various sites and six quad bikes for landfill sites patrol.
Nawa told the Pretoria News the intention was to get rid of service providers, "but not in the immediate ''.
"I suppose we would also want to save the city from depending on the outsiders. We would not do it (getting rid of service providers) 100%, but in due course we would reduce them sufficiently," he said.
His sentiment was echoed by acting City manager Masabata Mutlaneng, who said: "Yes, that is the beginning of phasing out service providers."
Mutlaneng said the contract that expired in July had been in place for the last three years and had cost the City R3.3 billion.
"We spent at least R3.3 billion on a fleet management contract over a three-year period and per year we spend about R1.1 billion," she said.
She envisaged that the City would be able to create more sustainable jobs with the reduction of its dependency on service providers.
Nawa said: "Ordinarily, in one day, we would pay R10 000 for one truck. Within a year we would have concluded paying for these trucks and we would have increased the capacity, retained jobs and provided better services."
The cost of one truck, it was estimated, could be in the region of R1.2 million.
Regarding the advertised specialised vehicle tender, Nawa said: "By the end of this month we should have concluded the process and by the beginning of October we would have to kick-start the process.
’’We are putting pressure on the system, however, we should indicate that we would want to be clinical."
He stressed that the primary service of the municipality was to provide services, which included refuse collection.
He also mentioned that the idea behind buying new trucks was to reduce the cost of running the municipality.
“As we take possession of this fleet, we want to give our communities an undertaking that these vehicles will be put to good use and for purposes of providing effective and efficient services.
’’I want to also urge our employees to treat these vehicles with utmost care as our resources are already overstretched.
’’Let us set a good standard of infrastructure maintenance across all seven of our regions,” Nawa said.