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All PPE contracts must be published - Mboweni

Treasury said that government departments would no longer be allowed to choose suppliers and would have to resort to open tender processes in awarding contracts for PPE and COVID-19-related goods and services.

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni delivering his Supplementary Budget on 24 June 2020. Picture: GCIS

CAPE TOWN - Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said that all contracts for personal protective equipment (PPE) must be published, with full details of companies which won tenders, who their competitors were and why their bids lost.

Mboweni’s told Parliament’s two finance committees that he would insist on this during a meeting set down for Thursday with provincial finance MECs.

Meanwhile, Treasury has put an end to the emergency procurement of PPE and COVID-19 related items, according to Director-General Dondo Mogajane.

They were briefing lawmakers in the wake of a public outcry over allegations of corruption linked to the awarding of multi-million rand COVID-19 tenders.

Treasury said that government departments would no longer be allowed to choose suppliers and would have to resort to open tender processes in awarding contracts for PPE and COVID-19-related goods and services. This was because the supply shortages and high prices experienced early in the pandemic were no longer a factor.

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said that he was meeting on Thursday with provincial treasury political heads to find out whether Treasury guidelines were followed and if not, why not.

“In my conversation tomorrow with the MECs of Finance we are going to discuss and insist on the fact that all of these contracts must be published for the public to see, and in publishing who won which contract we also want to know who were the competitors and on what basis did the competitors lose and we’d also be interested to know about the age of the companies, when were they formed, were they formed the previous night, or had been there before or what was the case?

“What was the case with the PEPs – the politically exposed people – we’d like to know and deal with that.”

Prominent government officials including presidential spokesperson Khusela Diko, Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku and his wife, Loyiso Masuku, are currently on leave of absence pending investigations into PPE contracts linked to Diko’s husband, Thandisizwe.

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