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KZN govt officials implicated in R22m procurement irregularities suspended

The senior employees of the provincial Department of Social Development face misconduct charges after procuring substandard blankets at a cost of R22 million without a needs analysis being conducted.

Personal protective equipment (PPE). Picture AFP

JOHANNESBURG – Thirteen government officials implicated in a procurement scandal for blankets and personal protective equipment (PPE) have been suspended in KwaZulu-Natal.

The senior employees of the provincial Department of Social Development face misconduct charges after procuring substandard blankets at a cost of R22 million without a needs analysis being conducted.

A damning forensic investigation into the alleged irregularities found that the blankets remained in storage for months and only a few blankets were distributed to the homeless and needy.

“We take a strong exception to corruption and maladministration, especially during this period when the people are battling the scourge of COVID-19 and the ripple effect it has on other aspects of life. We will ensure that taxpayers’ money that was spent irregularly is recovered.

"Not only will we deal with officials, but we will also deal with companies that were involved in the process. We have engaged a multidisciplinary team, comprising officials from Social Development, Office of the Premier, and Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) to ensure the speedy implementation of the recommendations of the report,” the department said in a statement.

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