Security firm Fidelity has defended a contract that Eskom awarded during Andre de Ruyter’s tenure as CEO, saying that the contract was only worth R250 million and did not include any intelligence services.
It was originally alleged by The Association of Private Security Owners of South Africa (Tapsosa) that De Ruyter flouted procurement processes in awarding an R500 million contract over three months to Fidelity.
They are demanding an inquiry into the tender processes followed by De Ruyter and Eskom. Tapsosa has escalated its demands to the relevant Parliamentary oversight committees and the Electricity Minister, Kgosientsho Ramokgopa.
She called for people behind the contract, including head of security Karen Pillay, former CEO Andre de Ruyter, and former COO, Jan Oberholzer, to be held accountable.
They also want an investigation into how the process took place and how an emergency procurement process was used to pick one provider – Fidelity Security Group.
Tapsosa demands details on what informed the decision to award the contract as an emergency procurement of services.
She said the answers they have from Eskom and National Treasury about the process are unsatisfactory.
Changuion further revealed why the large security contract raised red flags.
- There were private security providers on site that were already rendering the services, which Fidelity was paid R500 million to provide.
- There were consultations with security providers under the auspices that there was some intervention needed or extra security that had to be procured.
- It was impossible for Fidelity to implement all the security services Eskom paid for within the three-month contract period.
On Thursday, Eskom placed Pillay on precautionary suspension “to allow space for the investigation on allegations levelled against her to continue unhindered.” More suspensions may follow.
Changuion said their organisation welcomes the actions taken by Eskom regarding the R500 million security contract.
Fidelity defends security contract
Fidelity confirmed the group had been awarded a three-month emergency contract with Eskom to provide a comprehensive security solution.
This contract consisted of a national deployment to cover Eskom generation units and its transmission infrastructure.
However, Fidelity said the contract was only worth approximately R250 million over three months, not the alleged R500 million.
Fidelity also said that before the contract, it was already providing security services to Eskom and other service providers.
Its CEO, Wahl Bartmann, said the contract was awarded based on the Group’s experience managing specialised services within the current National Critical Infrastructure Industry and its national footprint.
This included providing land and air support with helicopter and tactical drone surveillance capabilities, specialised armoured personnel carriers, tactical intervention units, access and crowd control.
Fidelity denied reports that it provided Eskom with intelligence services.
Earlier this month, Eskom confirmed the services were awarded in line with all Eskom’s procurement procedures and the National Treasury directives for the Emergency procurement of services.
“We will provide our full and unconditional cooperation to any inquiry that may be held as we are confident that all due processes were followed”, Bartmann said.
“All services and solutions were confirmed, vetted and approved with the client, and the services provided met the compliance stipulations.”