Cogta MEC Lebogang Maile, in his call for municipalities to publish their list of Covid-19 tenders, has pledged to crack the whip on those implicated in wrongdoing.
Maile said on Wednesday he sent out letters to municipality heads, instructing them to follow the steps taken by national and provincial government in publishing the Covid-19 list of tenders.
“This will allow for public scrutiny and ensure accountability and will serve to deter corrupt activities,” he said.
Maile said it would be irresponsible if the local government do not follow suit of other government spheres.
In his letter, MEC Maile wrote: “It is common cause that the procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE) by the government has been marred by allegations of corruption. The Gauteng provincial government (GPG) is extremely concerned about these allegations. In the main, it has been alleged that certain contractors have been appointed based on their proximity with individuals in political leadership. Further allegations include inflated prices. National government has called for all departments in the national and provincial sphere to publish a list of companies that received PPE contracts.”
Maile believes this step was important in promoting transparency and accountability between public representatives and the society.
“This will afford civil society, corruption watchdog bodies and the fourth estate to scrutinise businesses and individuals who benefited from PPE procurement in various municipalities.”
Maile has warned that the full might of the law would be unleashed on those found to have wrongly benefited from PPE procurement.
“Anyone that wrongfully benefited from procurement that was aimed at alleviating the damage caused by this pandemic deserves to be jailed. Such individuals not only undermine the state’s capacity to deliver goods and services but are also stealing from the poor.”
His call follows the auditor general (AG) public report on the multi-billion-rand Covid-19 relief package spending by different spheres of government.
“Gauteng was among the provinces where procurement spending raised a huge public outcry,” he said.
“Public resources should be spent on fulfilling our people’s needs and demands. No public resources should be misappropriated to feed the high life of those in public office or their associates. We must accordingly commit ourselves to eradicate the scourge of corruption.”
Last month, Maile said close to R44-million was spent in the Tshwane metro Covid-19 alleviation programmes. Previously Tshwane administrator Mpho Nawa has said the metro would publish the list of tenders but it has not been published yet.