MPU tenderpreneurs ride the PPE cash cow

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GK CRONJE

26 January 2021

“It is questionable how these items help to contain the spread of COVID-19.”

Suzuki Ermelo (WEB) 22 September 2020.jp

According to an SUI report compiled in 2020, the purchase of surgical masks, sanitizer, food parcels and thermometers varied significantly across all government departments. Tenderpreneurs in Mpumalanga, however, are having a field day with dubious supply contracts amidst the pandemic. Department of Health has come under scrutiny after it has come to light that purchases were made for seven thousand branded umbrellas at a cost of R805 450, seven thousand branded backpacks at a cost of R1 082 725, as well as cellular tablets at Vodacom, amounting to a whopping R1 714 512. The cost of thermometers also came to light, with the majority of government departments paying R2 527 and upwards per thermometer.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) will once again place sustained pressure on the Mpumalanga Premier, Ms Refilwe Mtshweni-Tsipane, citing her statement of 20 August last year for a Special Investigations Unit (SIU) to be appointed. Ms Jane Sithole, provincial leader of the DA, demanded a progress report on COVID-19 corruption from the Premier. Ms Sithole said an investigative report into possible corruption of COVID-19 funds for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) has still not come to light. “The DA submitted a letter to the office of the Premier on 25 August, detailing information contained in the Provincial Procurement Report, which showed exactly how the funds meant to contain the spread of COVID-19, became a breeding ground for corruption.

The DA further asked the Premier to table the final SIU report in the Provincial Legislature.” Ms Sithole stated. “It is questionable how these items help to contain the spread of COVID-19.” she concluded. At this time, the report is still being awaited. Given the above, the DA has once again written to the Office of the Premier requesting the progress report relating to the investigation process and the outcomes.