The city of Johannesburg does not have a problem insourcing staff, provided it makes financial sense.
This is the view of newly elected mayor Jolidee Matongo, who warned that any move to insource services should be done after a study had been undertaken to ensure its viability.
Speaking to Newzroom Afrika on Wednesday evening Matongo said he did not have the problem with insourcing provided it achieved financial savings for the city. He was responding to a question on whether he had an issue with insourcing,
“I think the point the late mayor Geoffrey Makhubo made, and some of us in the ANC made, is that when insourcing was done for the security guards and cleaners in the city, it was a populist stance,” Matongo said.
Matongo said people were told that the city was wasting money spending R12,000 per month paying a security company while a security guard earned less.
When former mayor Herman Mashaba announced the insourcing of security guards in 2019, he said what the city achieved was to redirect the lucrative profit margins of politically connected security companies, and direct them to the families of nearly 4,000 workers in the city.
However, Matongo said what Mashaba did not tell the public was that there were other costs involved in insourcing, such as providing tools of the trade and the administrative component.
“In a financial year, we used to pay about R600m for security services, but with insourcing, we pay about R1.2bn. It has caused us serious problems. We are saying there is no problem insourcing, but do a study before you even say we are insourcing,” Matongo said.
Matongo said he chose to keep the bulk of the members of the mayoral committee unchanged to ensure continuity.
Only the portfolios of finance and economic development were reassigned.