The SIU’s report on the finalised investigations into allegations of corruption concerning Covid-19 PPE procurement appears to be missing information relating to the City of Joburg’s spending which the DA had reported to them in 2020. The report only referred to a whistle-blower’s claims that several PPE suppliers to the City were not on the Central Supplier Database (CSD), and relied on the City’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) Unit to verify this before closing the investigation. One has to ask why Mayor Geoff Makhubo failed to bring to the SIU’s attention to the R400 million in dodgy deals (out of more than R600 million) which was
highlighted in the City’s own internal audit report in September 2020.
The DA wrote to the SIU last year to alert them to the high levels of irregular expenditure and potential fraud in terms of PPE tenders in Joburg, which has no doubt increased since September 2020.
I will be sending a follow-up letter to the SIU alerting them to the following:
1. The City’s SCM Unit was not responsible for all Covid-procurement in the City, and the bulk of dodgy contracts happened in the City’s companies, such as City Power (spent R3000 on a mask), and the Joburg Property Company (R7.5 million on fogging one building).
2. Many companies were not on the CSD, were not even registered companies when they were awarded, were not tax compliant, and had no experience in PPE supplies or sanitisation.
3. Several reports were tabled in Council which clearly stated that there were significant irregularities relating to PPE procurement between the period March to November 2020 including, but not limited to, flouting of procurement processes, inadequate management of disaster funds, excessive price hikes, failure to comply with National regulations or city supply chain processes, failure to comply with the MFMA, etc.
4. According to the SIU Progress report, dated 5 February 2021, the City is listed as having spent R222 million on PPE procurement during the national lockdown. This figure does not correlate to the amounts being presented by the Executive Mayor and his cabinet in council.
a. At the September Council meeting, the Group Audit Services report stated a procurement
amount of R607,539,039 as of 23 September 2020.
b. At the November Council meeting (Item 64), the City Manager’s report stated a procurement
amount of R412,711,172 from March to October 2020.
c. At the January 2021 Council meeting (Item 16), the City Manager’s report stated a
procurement amount of R354,589,447 from July to December 2020.
All of this information should have been handed over to the SIU by Makhubo, but considering that his government has consistently failed to present accurate information to Council, it is not surprising that the SIU may have been kept in the dark. We hope that the SIU has not finalised all investigations into the City, and would welcome their continued scrutiny into Makhubo’s government.
The SIU has highlighted what we all know: only DA governments in the Western Cape and Midvaal had zero corruption on Covid-expenditure, and only the DA is capable of giving residents the honest, well-run city that they deserve.