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Treasury hunts fraud worth R233bn in spending

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Kenneth Brown, the state’s chief procurement officer. (Elizabeth Sejake, City Press)
Kenneth Brown, the state’s chief procurement officer. (Elizabeth Sejake, City Press)

Johannesburg - It’s South Africa’s equivalent to the proverbial $640 Pentagon toilet seat - a paper binding machine that the government buys from its suppliers for almost R28 000, about 13 times what it costs in a store.

Kenneth Brown, the nation’s 54-year-old chief procurement officer, cited the binding machine as an example of the massive waste that means as much as 40% of the government’s R600bn budget for goods and services is being consumed by inflated prices from suppliers, and fraud.

“It means without adding a cent, the government can increase its output by 30% to 40%,” he said in an interview in Pretoria. “We could be building more roads, more schools without even adding more money to the current budget.”

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