South Africa: Traffic Freeflow Pulls Pointsmen Services in City of Joburg, Tender Process Still Underway

9 September 2019

Traffic Freeflow, which runs the pointsmen project, says it is yet to receive communication from the City of Johannesburg and cannot operate without an extension or a tender being awarded to it.

The independent company, which owns and manages the project currently operating in the cities of Johannesburg and Tshwane, said the tender process for the awarding of the contract had not been completed by the City, resulting in it pulling its services because of uncertainty.

The deadline for the completion of the process was meant to be August 31.

Speaking to News24, the company's CEO, Bheki Zondo, said it had submitted a tender to continue providing services to the City that was under review and it was unclear if or when it would be awarded.

Zondo added the company had been operating on extensions granted by the City since September 1, 2018. He said in the absence of an award or an extension to its contract, the company would be in contravention of the National Road Traffic Act if it continued providing uninterrupted services.

"The company entered into a service level agreement with the City of Johannesburg to provide supplementary traffic wardens for a period of three years. Normally, when we approach the end of that three years, the City has to advertise or publish a tender and all interested parties who want to participate need to buy bid documents, attend briefing sessions..."

He said the company had submitted its tender together with two competitors in November 2018 and the City had granted it an extension while the adjudication process of the tender was underway.

Zondo added the process was, however, not completed.

"They came to a decision on August 31 that they will not be granting us an extension and would prefer completing the adjudication process as well as award the tender to a successful bidder.

"The problem is that we do not know how long that process is going to take because, effectively we have been operating under three extensions that were granted to us by the City, and on September 1 a further extension was not granted to the company. We took our guys off the street because in order for us to operate, we need permission or contract running."

He said the City of Tshwane was not affected by the decision and the pointsmen were still operating there, adding in Tshwane, the company was operating under a memorandum of understanding and not a tender, like in Johannesburg.

"Unfortunately, the City of Johannesburg did not communicate with us that it would not be granting any further extensions or how long the process is going to take for them to complete. It had not been forthcoming with information," Zondo said.

OUTsurance confirmed the discontinuation of services by Traffic Freeflow.

Danie Matthee, the CEO of OUTsurance, said: "Unfortunately, without a contract in place, the pointsmen cannot continue to work as they would be doing so in violation of the National Road Traffic Act. OUTsurance and Traffic Freeflow have always respected the rule of law and regrettably the pointsmen, whose contracts ended on August 31, are no longer employed. OUTsurance, together with Traffic Freeflow will endeavour to employ some of these staff in Tshwane where there is an ongoing relationship with the council."

Mayoral committee member Michael Sun said the City's administration officials were now dealing with it. "I as a politician, unfortunately, don't get involved in that process. The information would best come from that office."

Joburg spokesperson Nthatisi Modingoane said tender processes were still underway and no timeline could be given at this stage.

Modingoane added the City had received assurances from the metro police that officials would be assisting with traffic flow in various areas of the city.

"We have got an additional 1 500 metro police officers who are graduating from the academy, so we will have enough manpower to be able to cover some of those areas until this process is concluded," he said.

Source: News24

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