Don’t fall prey to scammers taking advantage of Covid-19: Treasury

The department of national treasury has issued a warning against “opportunists” taking advantage of the uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic to scam government suppliers.

“The current environment of the Covid-19 virus has given rise to opportunistic scammers hoping to make a quick buck from companies who supply goods and services to government.

“National Treasury wishes to bring this to the attention of suppliers that the department has, on behalf of government, awarded only four transversal contracts that provide items required to limit or prevent the transmission of Covid-19,” said the department on Wednesday evening.

Treasury reiterated that it was “important for suppliers doing business with government to be aware and careful in responding to fake requests for quotations ... Among the items available for organs of the state requiring the items are gloves, masks, hand sanitiser,” reads the statement.

The department urged suppliers that any other requests for quotes should not be entertained as they were fraudulent and from opportunists.

Government and the public sector have also warned of cybersecurity risks associated with working from home as the Covid-19 cases continue to rise in the country.

“For items that are not on transversal contracts, National Treasury has already made alternative arrangements to augment the possible shortages in the system.

The onus remains with suppliers to ensure that the requests for quotations they respond to during this heightened period and beyond are in line with the commodities and services they registered for on the central supplier database,” warned National Treasury.

The department urged suppliers “to continue to verify the validity of the requests for quotations contracts facilitated through the National Treasury for organs of state to procure common goods and services”.

Government and the public sector have also warned of cybersecurity risks associated with working from home as the Covid-19 cases continue to rise in the country.

Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma also gave other ministers sweeping powers to take action to combat the spread of the Coronavirus.

As of Wednesday evening, the total number of infected individuals was 116 with thousands being screened for the virus.

The rapid spread has forced government to implement new regulations.

These include a ban on alcohol sales after 6pm, penalties for spreading fake news about the disease and barring big price increases for goods.

Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma also gave other ministers sweeping powers to take action to combat the spread of the Coronavirus.

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s. Picture: Supplied/EPA / Olivier Hoslet

As a result, government has also solidified plans to punish those who refuse medical examinations, isolation and quarantine in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis.

In regulations gazetted by Dlamini-Zuma, government outlines actions that will be taken against those who refuse medical treatment.

This came after President Cyril Ramaphosa’s declaration of a national disaster on Sunday evening – a move that allows for the use of the Disaster Management Act as a tool to try to contain the spread of the pandemic.


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