South Africa

GroundUp: Forensic auditor’s recommendation on PRASA security company ignored

By GroundUp 17 December 2017

How did such an obscure company win contracts worth R118-million from 2010 to 2016? By GROUNDUP STAFF.

On 6 December, GroundUp published an article about the security company Changing Tides Security 208 (Pty) Ltd (Daily Maverick also published the story, here . The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) awarded contracts to this company worth R118 million from 2010 to 2016. Forensic investigators, commissioned by Treasury, made scathing findings on the company’s contracts with Prasa.

In the article, GroundUp reported that the company did not appear to exist. Upon further investigation, and with the assistance of our readers, we have found that the company does exist, but under a different name.

According to its website, the company is in the process of rebranding. Part of this is apparently changing its name from Changing Tides Security 208 to CTS Security Solutions.

We tried to visit what the company’s website gives as the Cape Town office address, an office in Mandela Rhodes Place. There was no signage for the company in the building and workers there said they had never heard of CTS Security.

When we phoned the number listed for the Cape Town office, the call was answered by an unrelated company. When calling the Johannesburg office, we spoke to a man who introduced himself as Lucky Latshe, head of operations at CTS Security Solutions.

Latshe refused to answer questions and instead referred us to Mbulelo Toko.

Toko said he was the attorney for CTS Security Solutions. He confirmed that the company had changed its name from Changing Tides Security 208. Asked about the R118-million contract(s) with Prasa between 2010 and 2016, he said he was unable to provide an answer.

We made numerous attempts to confirm whether CTS Security Solutions is registered with the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA). None of our attempts have found evidence that the company is PSIRA-registered, under either company names, which concurs with the findings of the Treasury reports. However, Toko insisted that CTS Security Solutions was PSIRA registered and that it had contracts with Prasa.

CTS Security Solutions’ website states that Metrorail – a subsidiary of Prasa – is one of its clients. Other clients listed include the South African Police Service (SAPS) and South African Social Security Agency (Sassa).

A spokesperson at Prasa, Nana Zenani, on Thursday confirmed that “Changing Tides Security is doing work for Prasa Rail and Prasa Technical”.

Yet the Treasury investigation report recommends that the Prasa accounting officer responsible for the contract with Changing Tides should be charged, and all “security services provided to Prasa should be stopped immediately”. DM

Photo: Security on Metrorail trains has been compromised by irregular Prasa contracts. Photo: Ashraf Hendricks


Are You A South AfriCAN or a South AfriCAN'T?

Maverick Insider is more than a reader revenue scheme. While not quite a "state of mind", it is a mindset: it's about believing that independent journalism makes a genuine difference to our country and it's about having the will to support that endeavour.

From the #GuptaLeaks into State Capture to the Scorpio exposés into SARS, Daily Maverick investigations have made an enormous impact on South Africa and it's political landscape. As we enter an election year, our mission to Defend Truth has never been more important. A free press is one of the essential lines of defence against election fraud; without it, national polls can turn very nasty, very quickly as we have seen recently in the Congo.

If you would like a practical, tangible way to make a difference in South Africa consider signing up to become a Maverick Insider. You choose how much to contribute and how often (monthly or annually) and in exchange, you will receive a host of awesome benefits. The greatest benefit of all (besides inner peace)? Making a real difference to a country that needs your support.


SONA2019: Ramaphosa uses his reply to answer internal critics over Eskom restructuring

By Marianne Merten

"We live in capitalism. Its power seems inescapable. So did the divine right of kings." ~ Ursula Le Guin