Parliament is being asked to consider tightening up the legislation to prevent politically connected people from being awarded tenders. This follows a Special Investigations Unit (SIU) probe into the suspicious COVID-19 related tenders.
Following the waves of anti-corruption measures that have been carried out by the South African government and the ANC, the Special Investigating Unit says the fact that such people are getting contracts, does not necessarily make them illegal, as reported by eNCA. This has been the case with the awarding of a tender for personal protective equipment to a business owned by the husband of presidential spokesperson, Khusela Diko, to the value of R139 million. It is one of the top contracts currently under investigation.
These developments came about after the finance watchdog, Scopa, was being briefed on Tuesday on the progress of COVID-19 related investigations. Thirty-nine bank accounts have been frozen.
Another R26 million in funding for what are believed to be illegally procured contracts has also been “put on ice”, while the Special Tribunal is halting further payments into the controversial R10-million scooter project in the Eastern Cape.
In total, the SIU is investigating contracts awarded to 930 service providers, according to the report. It is therefore imperative that parliament tightens up legal loopholes for awarding tenders in order to avoid any guilty parties from exploiting whatever weaknesses there are in the legislation.
Making these changes could go a long way towards successfully and efficiently carrying out the wave of probes into corrupt activities in South Africa and prosecuting the guilty parties.