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‘Open season’ as bakeries, pubs & carwash businesses score PPE tenders

An unknown 30-year-old businessman also managed to score a R125 million PPE tender without any prior experience.

FILE: South African Revenue Service Commissioner Edward Kieswetter. Picture: @sarstax/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - Bakeries, pubs and even carwash businesses managed to score PPE tenders, according to the South African Revenue Service (Sars).

An unknown 30-year-old businessman also managed to score a R125 million PPE tender without any prior experience.

These were some of the questionable contracts noted by SARS head Edward Kieswetter, who appeared before Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts on Friday.

Kieswetter told Scopa a lot of dodgy dealings took place in the procurement of goods and services during the state of disaster.

Kieswetter joined heads of the country’s top law enforcement agencies, to brief Parliament on the work of an inter-ministerial committee looking into COVID-19 corruption.

Kieswetter told Scopa of shenanigans in the procurement of PPE.

“On the non-compliance, there are all sorts of shenanigans that they play, like not declaring that they get an income from PPE. Even though they get that from government, they still choose to cheat government. They have outstanding tax returns or file incorrect returns.”

He said it was open season, with even businesses like bars scoring tenders.

“Many companies were previously registered, but they were not in the PPE business. We found providers registered as pubs, IT companies, car washing companies and property renting companies.”

SARS and the rest of the inter-ministerial committee will give President Cyril Ramaphosa a progress report in the coming weeks.

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