File picture: Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko
File picture: Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

Heads to roll in R1.2bn Joburg fleet tender

By Khaya Koko Time of article published Mar 24, 2020

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Johannesburg - A wide-ranging investigation into the contentious R1.2 billion Joburg fleet contract could see several heads roll.

The city has confirmed that two of its senior managers have been suspended.

Joburg spokesperson Nthatisi Modingoane said on Monday that Group Forensics Investigation Services (GFIS) had launched a new probe into alleged improprieties surrounding the October 2018 contract, which was awarded to fleet company Afrirent.

Afrirent has a 30-month contract with the city to provide more than 2700 vehicles and trucks to be used by the Joburg metro police, Emergency Management Services and for other administrative needs.

On Friday, Afrirent’s chief executive Senzo Tsabedze welcomed the suspension of the two senior managers, whose names are known to The Star, and alleged that the officials’ suspensions were long overdue.

Afrirent gained infamy in October 2018 after The Star reported it would receive a contract which would cost Johannesburg R700million more than its previous fleet contract for half the time as the city’s previous vehicle agreement.

A previous investigation by the GFIS last year exonerated Afrirent of any wrongdoing regarding the manner in which it had received the Joburg fleet contract.

Tsabedze was adamant that his company would again be found to have received the contract in a fair manner, and blamed delays in previous delivery of vehicles, including alleged mismanagement, on the suspended managers.

“What we picked up was that the people who were in that department, the two gentlemen who have been suspended; they were never fleet people and they don’t understand fleet management.

“And when we tried to advise them, they just did not want to listen, which caused the delays in (vehicle) delivery,” Tsabedze told The Star.

“There were things that were not included in our stated responsibilities that were given to us. For example, metro police had motorbikes, which were never added in our contract (but were expected to deliver),” Tsabedze said.

Modingoane confirmed yesterday that the investigation by the GFIS was under way.

“It would be appreciated if the investigation team could be given time to thoroughly investigate all allegations without undue pressure from the media.

“The investigation involves a number of role players and is looking at every aspect of this contract,” Modingoane said.

“The new administration has made an undertaking to continue to deal decisively with corruption and malfeasance.

“As such, all forensic reports are being studied and where any wrongdoing is uncovered, appropriate action will be taken.”

The current ANC-led administration under mayor Geoff Makhubo was elected in December after the resignation of his predecessor, Herman Mashaba, from the DA.

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