Home News Task team to probe PPE tenders after list published

Task team to probe PPE tenders after list published


The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) president, Joseph Montisetse, said politicians who made money out of a coronavirus pandemic were committing an act of genocide.

PPE equipment hangs outside tents where Covid-19 patients are being treated at the Tshwane District Hospital. Picture: AP

PUBLIC scrutiny is set to increase on the scandal-ridden Covid-19 tender system after the government resolved on opening up its books on contracts during the pandemic to address corruption allegations.

The National Treasury has published all Covid-19 tender expenditure by the government and state entities, as reports on the large-scale looting of relief funds meant to address the pandemic continue to grow.

On Wednesday, the department made public the list of all companies that secured tenders for the supply of personal protective equipment (PPEs), among other items, and the amounts spent by each department.

The Gauteng provincial Health Department, which has been at the heart of Covid-19 corruption allegations, spent more than R2 billion on Covid-19-related procurement since the declaration of State of Disaster by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

While the department listed both the companies that secured tenders and the prices, its database did not have details on the service which were rendered by the companies, as listed by other departments.

The Basic Education Department spent more than R800 million.

Of the total R819 633 565 departmental expenditure, around R600 million was spent on water tanks for schools, while R108 million was used to rent mobile toilets.

More than R38 million was spent by the department on the procurement of face masks for provinces, with Spot on Trading securing the lion’s share at R19.5 million.

The Home Affairs Department had spent R20 243 898 on PPE, with Matema Trading securing the biggest single contract for the department at R1 036 033 for the supply of hand sanitisers, at R113 per 500ml bottle.

The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development spent R43 132 282, with 53% of it spent on PPE for farmers, with Black Dot securing a R11.5 million tender for the supply of 400 000 surgical face masks.

According to Public Enterprises director-general Kgathatso Tlhakudi, the department had spent R281 930 on PPE, which was 28% of its R1 million budget for PPE procurement.

The Communications and Digital Technology Department has spent R1 246 163 with more than R800 000 spent on contracts to decontaminate its Pretoria offices.

The Forestry, Fisheries and Environment Department has spent R11 million of its R21 655 875 total Covid-19 expenditure on video conferencing, with R and N AV Innovations securing the lucrative contract.

The KwaZulu-Natal government has spent R1 999 465 704 on Covid-19-related expenditure, with R925 271 000 of it spent by municipalities.

The Western Cape government spent R1 460 564 585, while the Eastern Cape spent R1.2 billion on Covid-19 related procurement.

Earlier this month, Ramaphosa appointed a ministerial task team in a bid to tackle Covid-19 tender corruption and inflation of prices for PPE, and the lists of the companies are set to be combed by the task team.

The Mpumalanga provincial Treasury spent more than R350 000 of its total R555 813 Covid-19 departmental expenditure on hand and surface sanitisers, with 25-litre sanitisers for R4 220 and R4 590 a drum.

Hand and surface sanitisers with 70% alcohol range between R500 and R1 500 at retail price.

The North West government has placed its consolidated Covid-19 expenditure at R116 million, with the Health and Education departments accounting for R65 million and R32 million respectively.

The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) president, Joseph Montisetse, said politicians who made money out of a coronavirus pandemic were committing an act of genocide.