KZN govt irregularly blows nearly R30m on corruption busting e-procurement tool

The hi-tech procurement system, which was originally meant R14 million, but the cost later ballooned to R29.8 million, was meant to be implemented across various departments in the province as part of efforts to curb corruption during tender processes.

FILE: A report presented KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala revealed that provincial officials never sought permission to proceed with the sourcing of the e-procurement system from national treasury. Picture: KZN Government.

DURBAN – A report presented by KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Premier Sihle Zikalala to members of the provincial legislature has revealed that the provincial government irregularly spent close to R30 million on an e-procurement tool – which only reached trial status and was stopped after a security breach was detected.

The hi-tech procurement system, which dates back to 2011, was meant to be implemented across various departments in the province as part of efforts to curb corruption during tender processes.

However, a report (which was concluded in 2019 but was only made available this week) has found that the e-procurement tool tender in itself was tainted with corruption.

The original tender amount by the KZN Treasury for the e-procurement tool was R14 million, but the cost later ballooned to R29.8 million.

This week, the report presented by Zikalala revealed that provincial officials never sought permission to proceed with the sourcing of the e-procurement system from National Treasury, and there was a moratorium on the acquisition of IT services at the time.

The Democratic Alliance (DA)’s Francois Rodgers has called for tough action against the officials involved.

“Most alarming at this point is that there has been absolutely no consequence management, and those senior officials implicated have yet even to be charged and brought to book,” Rodgers said.

Eyewitness News understands that the provincial Treasury’s head of department at the time, who was implicated in the report, now worked at government entity, KZN Ezemvelo Wildlife.

Zikalala’s spokesperson Lennox Mabaso said that they would not be responding to any queries relating to the report and more details would be released at a later stage.

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