Zuma: ANC plans to bar politicians from tender processes

2008-12-10 00:00

POLITICIANS will soon be barred from participating in the procurement of government services to prevent them from unlawfully influencing the awarding of tenders.

ANC president Jacob Zuma told journalists in uMsinga yesterday his party is looking at implementing measures to separate politicians from participating in the tender processes, saying the current system has resulted in politicians becoming involved in serious corrupt activities.

Politicians have been accused in the past of influencing tender processes to benefit their relatives and friends. Zuma’s words come against the backdrop of KZN Health MEC Peggy Nkonyeni’s arrest yesterday on corruption charges.

“Part of the problem is that those who are given authority also participate in tender processes … and that has caused major problems. How do we deal with that? It is clear that we need to separate politicians from tenders,” he said.

Zuma said the ANC recently held talks with leaders of Namibia’s South West People’s Organisation (Swapo) aimed at fighting corruption in government.

“We had discussions with our counterparts from Swapo because they have been in government for a long time. We want to learn from them how to fight corruption in government and we believe that we will not win if politicians continue getting involved in the awarding of tenders,” said Zuma.

Although details of the new system have not been finalised by the ANC, Zuma said he prefers tender boards, observing that they will not be easily influenced by politicians.

“South Africa used to have tender boards. This worked very well because there was no undue influence from politicians. We believe that we will win the battle against corruption,” said Zuma.

He told journalists that they would soon get details of how the ANC wishes to prevent politicians from participating in the tender process.

Zuma, accompanied by the minister of Social Development, Zola Skweyiya, Safety and Security Minister Nathi Mthethwa, Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and members of the KZN legislature, was in uMsinga to see problems in the area at first hand.

During door-to-door visits, they discovered that people of Mkhuphula area in uMsinga do not watch television and do not receive and make cellphone calls because there is no network coverage.

Addressing people of uMsinga yesterday, Zuma said he will make sure that cellphone service providers and the SABC sort out the issue of coverage.

“We will make sure that we push cellphone service providers and SABC to address this issue so that you can also watch TV and use cellphones like all other South Africans,” he said.


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