PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa has described as ‘historic’ the online publication of a list of all COVID-19 related government expenditure.
This, after the Office of the Chief Procurement Officer (OCPO) published on Wednesday a full list of all companies who have been awarded contracts by the government for the supply of goods and services relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The lists include COVID-19 procurement information from all provinces, national departments and more than 70 public entities.
The move is in line with a directive issued by President Ramaphosa on 5 August 2020 for departments to submit full information on COVID-19 tenders to the ministerial team convened by Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola.
Ramaphosa made this decision after a Cabinet meeting and said the list of the tenders should be sent to a six-cabinet committee chaired by Lamola.
“This measure is unprecedented, and a clear demonstration of government’s commitment to transparency and accountability when it comes to allegations of corruption in the COVID-19 procurement process,” said Ramaphosa.
“The collaboration and cooperation between government departments during this process has been laudable, and a clear indication that we are going to intensify our efforts to act against any individuals or companies involved in corruption and profiteering around this pandemic.”
The National Treasury said it will regularly update the online register to ensure information remains current.
“By publishing these lists we have honoured our promise to the South African people. They enable proper scrutiny of the details of all companies who have received tenders for COVID-19 related services,” said Ramaphosa.
Special Investigating Unit says about 90 companies will be investigated to ensure that no company had received a tender irregularly.
This came after revelations that the presidency spokesperson Khusela Diko’s husband, Madzikane II Thandisizwe Diko’s company was among those who had secured contracts from the Gauteng Department of Health.
According to reports, Diko’s company, Royal Bhaca Projects (RB) received a contract worth R125 million just days after Ramaphosa announced a nationwide lockdown.
The register of COVID-related procurement may be found at: www.treasury.gov.za
(COMPILED BY INSIDE POLITICS STAFF)