A council decision to insource 460 security guards – meant to save the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality money – has backfired and is instead costing millions of rand more.
This while the city is still using private security to guard some of its assets because the 460 watchmen are not enough to meet the protection demands of the municipality.
It needs at least 212 additional security staff – 140 watchmen and 72 support staff – to be able to meet all the demands‚ but this would come at an added cost of R48.7m a year‚ money the municipality does not have.
Its budget and treasury department said the only way it could raise the money needed to insource more security staff would be to increase property rates by 2.5%.
This was rejected on Tuesday by councillors serving on the corporate services portfolio committee‚ who said the bean counters had to come up with more creative ways of finding the money.
In the meantime‚ the municipality is incurring unauthorised expenditure due to its continued use of private security firms.
In November‚ the council took a decision to absorb about 460 security guards who were employed by private firms contracted to the city – to save the metro money.