BBC continues to bleed money as merger is stalled by incompetent officials

by Ald. Bill Rundle — DA Shadow MMC for Transport Planning in Ekurhuleni

Date: 29 October 2021

Release: Immediate

Type: Media Statement

During the April 2021 Council Meeting, the ANC and its coalition partners* submitted to Council a report on the Municipal System Act 78 Feasibility Study into the most appropriate mechanism to deliver Municipal Bus Service for the City of Ekurhuleni and they voted for the recommendation that the Democratic Alliance (DA) has been endorsing for years — to merge the BBC with the Municipal Bus Service to establish a Single Service Business Unit.

On Thursday, 21 October 2021, Council was provided with an update on the progress on the implementation of the Municipal Bus Services section 78 Resolution in developing a plan to incorporate Brakpan Bus Company SOC Ltd back into the City’s municipal bus services.

The DA in Ekurhuleni has long awaited this report because we have been raising the gross financial mismanagement and dysfunctional operations taking place at the BBC for almost a decade.

We, however, find this report extremely unsatisfactory. Once again, in true ANC coalition style, this immensely important document is sparse on details.

The report states that an Advisory Committee was established to assist with the development of a plan for the merger of BBC and EBS. The Committee consists of the HODs of Transport and Fleet Management Department, Risk Management, Corporate Legal Services and Human Resources, the City’s Group Chief Financial Officer, and the Departmental Head of Public Transport Operations.

The report further states that “none of the Committee members have any experience on how to close and/or merge companies”. As the DA, we find this absolutely absurd that an advisory body is appointed to do a very important task yet none of the members have any experience, theoretical knowledge, or skills to do the job. What advice and recommendations are they going to give or make without the necessary experience? Why were they even appointed without the requisite experience and capacity to undertake the disestablishment of BBC?

Of more concern, is that the establishment of this inexperienced committee has resulted in the urgent appointment of two specialists from both legal and finance disciplines with the requisite experience and capacity to undertake the disestablishment of BBC, as well as the incorporation of its service delivery mandate into City. The report, however, does not mention the cost implications of these urgent appointments.

This has been a poor start to an incredibly important exercise, and as the DA, we cannot stand by and watch while the ANC and its coalition partners continue to waste ratepayers’ money. The DA fought tooth and nail in Oversight Committees and in Council to stop the losses, corruption and pilfering at the BBC, and we will continue to hold the governing party accountable.

A DA-led Ekurhuleni will appoint fit for purpose individuals to accomplish Council resolutions. We will also reduce wasteful expenditure by implementing strict monitoring and financial controls to ensure efficient and targeted spending according to the Metro’s needs.

#Time4Change

*ANC Coalition Partners: African Independent Congress (AIC), Pan Africanist Congress (PAC), Patriotic Alliance (PA) and Independent Ratepayers Association of South Africa (IRASA)

Ald. Bill Rundle

DA Shadow MMC for Transport Planning in Ekurhuleni

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