The tender was apparently never advertised, where competing companies were not given an opportunity to submit tenders.
THE DA in the Northern Cape has urged Premier Zamani Saul to conduct an urgent investigation into the awarding of a R5.7 million contract to sanitise schools in De Aar, Hanover, Richmond, Colesberg and Noupoort.
The DA constituency head of the Bo Karoo, Fawzia Rhoda, said the tender was apparently never advertised, where competing companies were not given an opportunity to submit tenders.
Rhoda stated that the tender was apparently awarded to the boyfriend of an official employed in the office of the MEC for Education, about two weeks ago.
“This raises serious questions about the abuse of Covid-19 funds for personal enrichment,” said Rhoda.
“In a climate where close contacts of high-profile politicians are increasingly benefiting from get-rich-quick contracts amidst billions of rand being pumped into the country’s Covid-19 response, we cannot turn a blind eye to such allegations.”
Rhoda indicated that there needed to be greater oversight and transparency with regards to all Covid-19-related procurement.
“We will request the standing committee on public accounts to urgently establish a procurement watching unit to scrutinise all Covid-19-related government contracts.
“Given that the premier has committed to investigating all allegations of corruption, we want him to show us his commitment to oust corruption in the public service to prove that no one is above the law.
“While lives and livelihoods are at stake amidst the ongoing health and financial crisis faced by this country, there must be a zero tolerant approach towards Covidpreneurship.”
The spokesperson for the Office of the Premier, Bronwyn Thomas-Abrahams, said that Saul had last week requested departments to submit information on all emergency procurement of goods and services tied to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The premier is committed to and supports the ministerial committees established to investigate alleged irregular behaviour and expenditure. The sanitation and decontamination of schools and buildings forms part of the overall request to submit and make available all information relating to any irregular tenders.”
The spokesperson for the Northern Cape Department of Education, Geoffrey van der Merwe, indicated that the Department of Roads and Public Works was the implementation agent for the disinfection of all schools across the Province.
“We wish to reiterate that the Department of Education was not in any way involved in the appointment of contractors for the disinfection of schools. This was purely a supply chain management process of the Department of Roads and Public Works,” said Van der Merwe.