Thousands of state vehicles gathering dust

News

Thousands of state vehicles gathering dust

With a huge repair backlog, the fleet maintenance contract is ending, but a new service provider is yet to be appointed

Journalist


With just over a month left before a fleet maintenance contract issued by the government runs out, a tender for a new service provider is yet to be advertised.
Meanwhile, more than 9,230 vehicles, including much needed ambulances and police vehicles, are gathering dust at hundreds of country’s private garages because of a huge backlog to fix them.
The government, through the treasury and the transport department, entered into a five-year contract with Transit Solutions in 2014 to maintain more than 110,000 government vehicles.
This has resulted in only garages selected by the service provider fixing and working on government vehicles. This has also resulted in the staff employed to maintain the fleet being reduced to administrators.
This contract ends on March 31 2019, but the government hasn’t appointed a new service provider, nor advertised for one, spokesperson Jabulani Skhakhane confirmed.
They would be issuing the advert in May.
Skhakhane did not respond to questions about the delay in procuring a new service provider, or who will do fleet management in the meantime.
“The contract is for managed maintenance services, tolls, fuel and repairs,” Skhakhane said.
“It is estimated that government will pay R2.2bn by the end of the contract period for fuel, oil maintenance and repairs as per the service level agreement, which will include the transaction fee to the service provider (Transit Solutions).”
Late in 2018, transport spokesperson Ishmael Mnisi confirmed that no government vehicles were repaired or maintained at the government garages around the country.
He said it took between two and 30 days to repair vehicles, depending on what needed to be done.
Asked who would be responsible for fuel, maintenance and repair of the government fleet when the contract expires next month, Mnisi refused to comment.
Although questions about the delay in finding a new service provider were sent two weeks ago, no reply has been forthcoming.
The contract with Transit Solutions has resulted in all government garages becoming white elephants and the staff employed to maintain the fleet reduced to doing only administrative work.
A copy of the contract seen by Times Select stipulates that the contract is for five years, from April 1 2014 to March 21 2019.
As part of the contract with Transit Solutions, the state will pay for accessories, accident damage, car washes, engine overhauls, drive-train repairs, fuel, maintenance, oil, repairs, tolls and training.
It will also pay for batteries, card fees, steering mechanism repairs, air conditioner repairs, exhaust replacement and repairs, wheels and suspension, auto electrical repairs and tow-in charges.
Transit Solutions spokesperson Jackee Khumalo refused to answer detailed questions sent to her early this week. She referred queries back to the transport department and the treasury.
“We have been advised to refer all enquiries about the contract back to [the department]. All information on the contract belongs to the state and may not be disclosed without their approval,” Khumalo said.

This article is reserved for Times Select subscribers.
A subscription gives you full digital access to all Times Select content.

Times Select

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems?
Email helpdesk@timeslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00.

Previous Article