Metro’s splurge on contracts

Almost R500m spent on private security and other services

The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality spent close to R500-million on consultants in the last financial year, more than R100-million being splurged on private security. Councillors at a municipal public accounts committee meeting on Tuesday queried the exorbitant amounts, saying some of the consultants were duplicating the jobs of metro staff.

According to the auditor-general’s report, the city spent more than R495-million on consultants.

These include private security, meter-reading services, grass cutting, stadium management and transport operations, among other services.

Budget and treasury political head Retief Odendaal said the city had to drastically cut consultant costs.

“We should be significantly concerned . . . in terms of contracted services; how this has been bloated over the years,” he said at the meeting.

“Just this past year, we spent R495.3-million and the budgeted amount was actually R333-million.

“This does indicate that this is totally out of control.”

ANC councillor Ncediso Captain said the committee should be given a full report on the use of consultants at the next MPAC meeting.

“We need to understand what is going on,” he said.

“We can’t have a contractor while there are enough people to do certain services. We know that there are services that need experts and consultants must be used, but that should be monitored.”

The AG’s report said more than R100-million had been used on private security in just one year even though the metro had a safety and security department.

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