Municipal Manager Allen Paulse have downplayed the situation that almost resulted in the disconnection of the communications channel for Emergency Services in the Bitou Municipal Area. Henry Eybers, the owner of Garden Route Communications (the company that cut the channel as a result of unpaid monies by the embattled municipality) has responded.
I share with you both of their letters:
Allen Paulse’s Newsletter
Disconnection of communications channel
for Emergency Services in Bitou Municipal Area
Recent media reports created the impression that Bitou Municipality placed life and property at risk when the repeater system that regulates communication in the emergency services section (fire, traffic and law enforcement); was switched off due to the non-payment of service providers.
The facts are:
A contractual dispute arose between the parties which led to the disconnection of one channel of the communication line to a portion of the outer areas of Bitou Municipality. The entire Plettenberg Bay Area was not affected at all. The “switching off” of this operating channel 2 at Spitzkop happened on Friday, 11 July 2014.
Since then the Emergency Services section has reverted to using channel’s 1 and 3 of the internal Municipal frequencies for the coverage these channel’s offer.
In order to address the challenge of pager systems not operating due to the repeater being “switched off”; a shift system has been introduced whereby a crew is on standby from the Fire station between 23h00 and 07h00 until such time that the radio and pager system issue has been resolved and or until 24 hour shifts are approved and implemented.
Thus no life or property was at risk during this “switching off” of the one channel.
Contractual dispute matters between the parties are attended to. The Municipality is also investigating long term communication solutions for our emergency services.
Mr. Allen Paulse
Henry Eybers sent this mail
to Allen Paulse and Mayor Memory Booysen
Good Day Mr. Mayor
The following for your attention please,
- I think we need to get this matter resolved and look at the real facts.
- According to your “newsletter” there was a contractual despite, There cannot be any contractual dispute as the contract was never signed by Bitou the process was delayed by your supply chain.
- We have been supplying this service since 2006 – not a day of downtime your dept’s can verify this.
- I expected yourself or Mr. Paulse to make contact with us or to at least return my calls since Monday this week so that we could resolve the matter not being able to make contact with you made it impossible for us to find a resolve to the matter.
- After Mr. Paulse instructed us to turn the repeater off via phone on Friday the 11th of July (and please note all our phone calls are recorded), we were unsuccessful in resolving the problem until Mr. Sekati from Law Enforcement came to us and requested a copy of the account which was not paid due to the fact that the necessary paper work had not been done for the past 12 months.
- During our conversation with Mr. Sekati we decided that we would restore the service as it was in the best interest of the community and service delivery was not possible anywhere outside of town so we did this even though the outstanding part of the account still has not been settled.
- I really expected more from both of you this been said I am awaiting a call from either of yourselves so that we can discuss this matter around a table next week.
Garden Route Communications