The National Treasury has ended the emergency procurement process for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and protective clothing in South Africa, due to reports of corruption in COVID-19 related tenders.
Allegations of corruption has plagued South Africa in recent weeks, due to countless reports of fraudulent tender procurement processes and instances of corruption. President Ramaphosa was even compelled to create a Special Investigation Unit focused on uncovering and prosecuting corrupt officials and private entities.
On Wednesday, as reported by News24, Mboweni and National Treasury Director-General Dondo Mogajane appeared at a press briefing, saying that “Thieves were waiting at the door”, waiting to steal as soon as the government began processes to ensure that healthcare workers and the people of South Africa were equipped with PPE and protective clothing, among other measures put in place to tackle COVID-19 in the country. Mogajane now believes that the threat of being short supplied is no longer an issue and therefore the emergency procurement process will come to an end.
“We have boosted local production of face shields, of masks. All of that is now in place after a few months of challenges that we had in terms of how companies in South Africa can begin to take advantage of the opportunity that is here,” said Mogajane.
He added that the new procurement processes must involve out-of-the box thinking to ensure that they are “fraud proof” and that accounting officers involved in procurements must be held accountable.