ActionSA has noted misleading information communicated by the City of Johannesburg in respect of the return of the OUTsurance pointsmen.
It must be stated from the outset that ActionSA welcomes the return of the OUTsurance pointsmen to the streets of Johannesburg, in recognition of the exemplary work they do in assisting JMPD to manage traffic. This is a prime example of how the private sector can assist government in the interest of a well-governed society.
The OUTsurance pointsmen were initially contracted to perform the service through a Private-Public-Partnership (PPP) contract with Traffic Free Flow (TFF) (Pty) Ltd, which is mainly sponsored by OUTsurance.
One of the terms agreed to between TFF and the City was that the contract was a fixed term arrangement that ended on the 31st of August 2018. For the pointsmen and women to continue providing this service, the City was required to comply with supply chain and procurement processes, as any extension of this PPP contract without due process would be illegal.
Local government legislation required this, irrespective of the fact that the service was being offered free of cost to the City, because OUTsurance gained considerable value from the service through their marketing thereof. Accordingly, other companies had to be afforded the opportunity to tender.
Following the expiration of the contract in August 2018, the City sought to find legitimate ways to extend this PPP contract with TFF while offering OUTsurance the option of a temporary renewal of the contract while the tender process was being finalised.
The administrative delays to this process were a source of great frustration to Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba at the time, but as a political office bearer he was not able to intervene in the tender process.
Importantly, however, the matter was expedited in 2019, and by the time of his departure from office in November 2019, the arrangements were largely finalised. It is curious why this process has only been concluded 13 months later.
The fact that Mayor Geoff Makhubo seeks to take credit for this, after he took more than a year to present something that was largely finalised, is an indictment on him and his administration, and demonstrates how little his government has to show more than a year into their term.