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Treasury publishes list of all COVID-19-related govt tender expenditures

This includes expenditure by the Gauteng government, which has seen a number of questions raised over procurement, including its now suspended Health MEC Bandile Masuku.

© maridav/123rf.com

JOHANNESBURG - Treasury has made available a list of all COVID-19-related government tender expenditures on its website, saying it wants to be transparent to South Africans.

This includes expenditure by the Gauteng government, which has seen a number of questions raised over procurement, including its now suspended Health MEC Bandile Masuku.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has directed government departments to avail full documents of COVID-19 tenders amid public outrage of irregular expenditure by many officials in the public sector.

Billions of rand meant to deal with the pandemic in South Africa have been siphoned off by those trusted to protect the country from the spread of the virus.

Prominent senior government employees were being investigated for their possible involvement in the unlawful awarding of tenders.

The list published on Treasury’s website showed that the Gauteng’s Health Department had so far spent over R3.6 billion in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The department has been part of a coronavirus scandal after Health MEC Bandile Masuku, his wife Loyiso who serves as MMC in the City of Joburg, were implicated in alleged fraud linked to a contract awarded to the husband of presidential spokesperson Khusela Diko.

It seems the emergency procurement processes placed by Treasury to urgently obtain COVID-19 goods and services translated to a jackpot for many.

Some companies who were able to cheat the system received contracts worth millions to provide personal protective equipment.

There have been many gaping holes with the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse reporting that about R4 million was spent on catering for departmental activities by the Gauteng government while the country was in lockdown.

At the same time, many South Africans who have shown a lack of trust in government want law enforcement to put those who used the COVID-19 health crisis to steal to be put behind bars.

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