G4S this week warned its peers that in 2009, it will splash cash to replace its ageing fleet as it repositions itself to be the market leader.
┬áListed on the domestic bourse, G4S is a leading security company but is concerned about ‘growing big and arrogant’, leading to competitors wanting to take the shine out of it.
┬áThe Managing Director of the company, Percy Raditladi, said Thursday night that they are quite behind with their 10-year fleet renewal programme.
┬á“Our focus this financial year will be living one of our core values of customers service,” Raditladi told stakeholders. “This year alone we will spend P10 million on new vehicles to replace our ageing fleet,” he said.
┬áHe revealed that an additional P700 000 will be spent in upgrading the Information Technology (IT) systems to replace servers, introduction of fleet monitoring technology and refurbishment of the control room.
┬á“This investment will place us in a better position to serve our customers by improving our turnaround time, response times and customer queries,” he added.
┬áRecently, G4S purchased secure response vehicles in an effort to reduce the response time. By mid May, the company will receive three new fully armoured 2.7 Toyota Hiluxes, which will increase the range to 10 vehicles.
┬áDespite the pledge to increase the fleet, G4S says it faces service challenges like the traffic jams on Botswana roads. This is made worse by the influx of second hand vehicles from Asia.
┬áMolefe Matlhape, G4S’ Secure and Monitoring Manager, said that this is worsened by the fact that they are not given preference rights on the roads meaning that they have to be in the traffic like any other motorist.
┬áMolefe added that they will be installing tracking systems on their vehicles. Currently, the company has 30 response vehicles and the station relies on the crew to tell that they have arrived where the alarm rang.
┬áOn the other hand, false alarm is another problem and Molefe advised clients to always arm their alarms when they go to sleep and update their key holders.
┬á“Periodically, ask for a security review, which is for free but a cost on our side. Equally, the maintenance plan will always ensure the system is working well,” he advised.
┬áCurrently, G4S, the only security outfit listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange, has five branches in Gaborone, Lobatse, Francistown, Selebi Phikwe and Palapye and employs over 2000 people.
┬áG4S entered the Botswana market in 1987 as Automated Security and Security Express and listed in 1991 as Inco Holdings on the BSE.
┬áThe company then re-branded as Securicor in 2003 after Securicor International acquired 70 percent of Inco Holdings.
┬áThe company has four major service lines in guarding, secure cash management, various security systems, like access cards, CCTVs and secure alarm response and monitoring.