Tendy Three Investments Private Limited (TTI), the company managing Bulawayo City Council (BCC)’s smart vehicle parking system, has said it is not making “super” profits out of the deal.
The build-operate-and-transfer (BOT) partnership between TTI and BCC is crafted in such a way that the former pockets 70 percent of the revenue while remitting 30 percent to the council.
Various stakeholders in the city including residents associations and opposition ZAPU have questioned the BCC-TTI contract, arguing the local authority was being disadvantaged with others calling for the suspension of the deal until meaningful public consultations have been exhausted.
However, speaking recently during the Breakfast Club, an online programme hosted by CITE, TTI chairman, Lizwe Mabuza they were not making huge profits contrary to what members of the public think.
“Usually in a BOT arrangement the investor makes their money first before they transfer the project to owners,” said Mabuza.
“But for us, since we love our city, we said do not stay far away, we said can you be getting something as we move on before we can transfer the project. On the 70:30 ratio maybe some people are complaining out of anger or they simply choose to be ignorant deliberately because the truth is plain.”
He said at 35 percent roll-out the company has employed 200 workers, adding their salary bill is about ZWL$11 million.
“In this kind of an environment our salaries are usually about 30 percent of the revenue collected,” he explained.
“It is a labour-intensive environment because we have parking marshals. Each and every 15 bays are covered by a parking marshal so there are many warm bodies that have to earn. That money no longer comes from the City Council’s 30 percent. So with the remaining 70 percent, we pay salaries, we buy data, we maintain systems and cover overheads.”
He explained further: “You would find that the profitability that remains is hardly 20 to 25 percent. We must also not forget that when an investor arrives does not just pour in money, there has to be a certain percentage return. So, we are not making super profits. I have seen some people say, this man wants to be rich overnight. There is nothing like that. There are so many salaries to pay, we have to fix machines, and the data that we buy is about 7 percent of our revenue. One phone per month can gobble 4gs of data.”
Mabuza said they are also paying for rented bank POS machines.
“As Tendy Three, we are not a financial services provider, we are not allowed to receive money,” he said.
“Some of the things are just mischievous and deliberate misinformation of the public, with the intention of inciting people against the Council which is portrayed as unwise. But as I speak, the Council is making more money than I with that 30 percent because it does not have alI these expenses that I have.”
He added: “Let me put it clear that no one has been short-changed in this deal. At 100 percent roll out, this project will employ 500 people and these are our brothers and sisters. For now our people are earning ZWL$90, 000 monthly.”