The Mayor blamed the contract and tender process on a “systemic way to really sabotage his administration” but a year later and our intersections are a mess while the 170 Pointsmen are nowhere to be seen.
Johannesburg, South Africa – On the 29 August 2018 Herman Mashaba, Executive Mayor of Johannesburg, saved over 170 jobs after reinstating the Johannesburg OUTsurance Pointsmen during a lapse in the contract but a year later and it seems that the tender process has come into question again.
And Joburgers cannot understand the turn-around on the decision.
Just a year ago, the Mayor pointed out how ridiculous it was to let a contract expire that was ultimately free for the city and such a massive help with traffic flow.
“But imagine that we are getting a free service and not paying for it and then for some reason, there are some officials who either deliberate or through lack of competence just let that contract expire?” The Mayor of Johannesburg opened up to David O’Sullivan and his listeners on KAYA FM.
He blamed the contract and tender process on a “systemic way to really sabotage his administration” but a year later and our intersections are a mess while the 170 Pointsmen are nowhere to be seen.
OUTsurance released a statement on the 1 September 2019 regretfully confirming that the tender process for the awarding of the Pointsmen contract has not been completed by the City of Johannesburg (CoJ) before the deadline of 31 August 2019.
Traffic Freeflow (TFF), which initiated and runs the project, and who employs the almost 170 Pointsmen in Johannesburg, was granted an extension to operate the Pointsmen until 31 August 2019. This extension follows a prior extension granted due to the tender process previously also failing to conclude within the CoJ’s deadline.
Danie Matthee, CEO of OUTsurance, comments, “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 TFF have always respected the rule of law and regrettably, the Pointsmen, whose contracts ended on 31 August, are no longer employed. OUTsurance, together with TFF, will endeavour to employ some of these staff in Tshwane where there is an ongoing relationship with the council.”
The awarding of the Pointsmen contract has been the subject to a tender process over the past year.
TFF has been at the helm of the Pointsmen project since it’s inception and the founder of the concept, Colleen Bekker, had first approached the city 14 years ago with the proposal to supply privately sponsored traffic pointsmen after realising the need for it.
“We are committed to being the most professional service provider for the relief of traffic congestion in South Africa, ensuring that our Static and Mobile Pointsmen and Staff Members are nurtured, developed and empowered through a compassionate, micro-managed organisation.”
When hearing about the original cancellation of the contract, Colleen expressed incredibly sadness, not for herself but for the 170 pointsmen who service all JPMD jurisdictions, including the CBD, Fourways, Sandton, Randburg, Midrand and Soweto.
“It’s a very sad day for me personally, all of the staff of Traffic Freeflow, our 36 sponsors and in particular the motorists of Johannesburg, who have come to depend on the stellar service the pointsmen have offered in getting them through sticky traffic every morning and afternoon for the past 13 years,” she said in a statement.
OUTsurance has remained the anchor sponsor of the Pointsmen Project since its inception almost 14 years ago, and to date has invested over R200 million – with a current contribution to the CoJ, via the project sponsorship, in excess of R20 million per year. These funds are used to pay for salaries, infrastructure and related expenses for the successful operation of TFF.
Some key TFF facts are listed below:
- TFF is a South African company that has kept the Gauteng roads safe while alleviating traffic congestion over the last 14 years through its Pointsmen Project.
- TFF was started as a job-creation program, aimed at developing previously disadvantaged and unemployed youth.
- TFF is a Level 2 BBBEE company and its Chief Executive, Bheki Zondo, is the majority shareholder.
- TFF currently employs 161 Pointsmen, as well as nine support staff and managers in Johannesburg.
- TFF is required to go through a tender process to provide the free service to the city.
Danie Matthee further commented, “While it remains the CoJ’s prerogative to award the tender or not, it is regrettable that this service, which was provided at no cost to the CoJ and employs 170 people, has been ended. I would like to thank TFF, its staff and management for their many years of phenomenal service to the motorists of Johannesburg. Your positive impact on our roads will be missed.”
Where is the good news here?
We all have a voice, and we are all allowed to use it. We have created a Twitter poll to try to bring attention to the unhappiness that Joburgers are feeling but Herman Mashaba can be found on Twitter, Facebook or email and if you click those links, you can ask him where to from here?
But here's the crazy bit; the city wasn't paying for this service!!!
So, can you let the Mayor know how we feel?
— Brent Lindeque (@BrentLindeque) September 10, 2019