Reports related to Covid-19 procurement will be made public, as the government grapples with allegations of graft in what was meant to be a quick process to ensure that South Africa has a steady supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) as well as other goods and services during the pandemic.
In a leaked letter to ministers, it made known that a committee has been appointed in the cabinet meeting to quickly deal with the allegations of corruption related to the Covid-19 procurement. these committee members are six in number with the Justice Minister Ronald Lamola to chair the investigation. Other members include Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni, , Public Service and Administration Minister Senzo Mchunu and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Police Minister Bheki Cele In a leaked letter to ministers,
Reading from President Cyril Ramaphosa
“In this regards, I request your full cooperation in providing all information related to names of companies and amounts of tenders and contracts that have been awarded in your respective departments [and entities] during the period of Covid-19 and national state of disaster,”
“These lists must be provided to the above committee as a matter of urgency this week. The committee will prepare a comprehensive report and I intend to release this information publicly”.
Ramaphosa’s acting spokesperson Tyrone Seale who earlier released a statement on Thursday 6th of August, said
“The committee will look into corruption with regard to the procurement of goods and services sourced for the purpose of containing and responding to the Covid-19 pandemic, and it includes the procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE).”
“To assist the committee in its assessment of Covid-19-related procurement, President Ramaphosa has requested all ministers and premiers to provide information on the names of companies and details of tenders and contracts that have been awarded in national departments, provincial governments and public entities during the period of the national state of disaster,”
Tyrone Seale added, “Ministers will have to urgently comply to this directive as committee will prepare a comprehensive report, to which the president intends to release as public information this week”
Reports have it that family members and friends of politicians scored government contracts, how the state overpaid for goods, and how millions have been stolen amid the state of disaster.
“There should be no theft, no wastage and no mismanagement of public funds as the country fights Covid-19“.
The president has warned that there will be consequences for those who will break the law.
“The consequences for those who broke the law – whether they are in the public or private sectors – would be severe”.