NELSON Mandela Bay ratepayers have had to fork out R15-million due to a bungled security tender which has landed the cash-strapped municipality in court – and costs are likely to more than double before the issue is resolved.
At least R1-million of this has gone to legal fees. Metro Security took the municipality to court after it awarded the company a lucrative R94-million security contract in January last year, but then mysteriously cancelled the deal.
The remaining R14-million has gone toward the higher cost of a month-to-month security contract over the past 14 months compared to a fixed-term agreement.
The municipality is paying between R3.5-million and R4-million a month for security, compared with the R2.5-million a month it would have been paying if should the tender had have been awarded in January last year.
Metro Security was supposed to start its contract on February 1 last year. Instead, security company Nationwide, whose contract to provide the lion’s share of security for the metro expired in September 2009 after six years, is continuing to provide security on a month-to-month basis, along with BEE consortium Umsimbithi.
The contract extends to about 100 municipal sites around the Bay, including the City Hall and clinics.
Metro Security is embroiled in high court action against the city because of the tender bungle. The company claims in court papers it has lost tens of millions of rands in revenue after it was the top scorer of the 13 applications for the R94-million, three-year contract.