Unstoppable Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba said the ANC cannot prevent him from insourcing about 4 000 security guards, even after they tried to accuse him of using his wife’s company to do business with the city.
He said although he continues to execute his promise to the security guards to give them back their dignity, he has referred himself to the city council’s ethics committee to investigate the allegations against him.
“I have subjected myself to the ethics committee of the City of Johannesburg and I also wrote a letter to the speaker of council, Vasco da Gama‚ requesting that the allegations made by the Sowetan newspaper that I used my wife’s (Connie Mashaba) company, Lephatsi Financial Services, to do business with the city, be investigated,” Mashaba said.
He added that as soon as the security guards were all insourced, he would insource the cleaning staff before the end of this year.
Mashaba came under fire this week when he was accused of dubious business deals when he asked an old friend and the financial director at his wife’s company, Akhter Alli Deshmukh, to do insourcing for the city for free in his personal capacity.
He said he informed council during a mayoral committee meeting of his plans to rope in Deshmukh. He said this was after his own team within the city gave him the runaround for several months, claiming insourcing will cost the city much more money.
“I did not believe this nonsense. I was fed up and I am also not stupid to see that we are paying profit-bearing contractors R14 500 per security guard while they only pay the security guards R4 100 without any benefits or pension. That is utter rubbish,” Mashaba said.
“During a mayoral committee meeting, I told them that I have friends who can do the modelling. I also indicated to the city lawyers that if you get free services, there is no problem as long as the person given the service does not have a contractual business with the city.
“After about a week or so, my friend returned to the city and demonstrated that when I insource, the salaries of the workers will improve by about 50% and they will get medical aid and pension benefits, and that is just what we did.
“My friend moved on and I announced about three weeks ago that I am going to insource security and I apologised to the security staff for the delay.
“We are not a profit-driven organisation. We just want to make sure we can improve the life of over 4 000 security guards,” Mashaba said.
He said the insourcing of security guards in the city caused a lot of unhappiness in the circles of a politically connected few who have made a fortune from the over 90 contracts valued at R640 million.