IN QUOTES | Sihle Zikalala says officials implicated in PPE corruption will be held accountable
KwaZulu-Natal premier Sihle Zikalala detailed the outcomes of the investigation into irregularities in the procurement of Covid-19 personal protective equipment (PPE) and blankets.
The departments of education and social development allegedly misappropriated funds and were the focus of the investigation launched in April.
Zikalala said senior officials implicated in corruption will be held accountable to ensure clean governance.
Here are six quotes from his address:
“Some of the service providers exceeded the amount regulated under treasury instruction notes. In some instances, quotations were changed three times, and on each occasion the quantities of the items were reduced to reduce the total cost of procurement. However, most noticeable, there was no reduction in the pricing per unit.”
Payments and deliveries
“Had the department applied the regulated prices and processes correctly, it could have saved more than R2,2m. The investigation noted that some service providers were paid in full on May 4 2020, while the delivery of goods happened on May 11 2020.”
“The investigation revealed there was no record provided, which proved the decision to procure the blankets was informed by a needs analysis. The orders were issued to four service providers on March 27. It was noted by the investigator that the cost of each blanket quoted by service providers varied between R350 and R559, even though all providers were requested to quote on the same specification.”
“The investigators discovered that more than 43,000 blankets were left in storage centres with uncontrolled access, and some have been damaged and unaccounted for, amounting to possible fruitless and wasteful expenditure.”
No penalties for service providers
“Some service providers did not deliver the blankets within the stipulated period, but were paid in full without any penalties being served.”
“We remain unwavering in our commitment to clean and good governance and ensuring that each and every cent of taxpayers' money is spent efficiently, especially given the tough economic climate in which we find ourselves. We commit to take action and ensure accountability for anyone linked to wrong actions.”