Covid-19 graft: Gauteng to use open tender system, asks SIU to probe all procurement - Makhura

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  • In the wake of corruption allegations around key members of the Gauteng government, Makhura says an open tender system will be reintroduced.
  • Makhura says the SIU is not only probing PPE procurement, but all procurement related to Covid-19, including infrastructure.
  • The provincial treasury will now make the information available to the public on a monthly basis. 

The Gauteng government has asked the Special Investigating Unit to look into all Covid-19-related procurement, and not just that of personal protective equipment, Premier David Makhura has said. 

Makhura said there would also be probes into infrastructure-related procurement, including the food relief programme which was implemented shortly after the lockdown began in March. 

"All that is under full investigation because we don't want a situation where, today it is PPE and tomorrow it is something else, and the other day it is another. A comprehensive approach to dealing with corruption is to ensure that all procurement done to address Covid-19 related issues must be under full watch," Makhura said. 

READ |  Health MEC Bandile Masuku and wife Loyiso asked to 'step aside' amid corruption probe

The premier was addressing the media on Thursday during the Provincial Command Council's weekly briefing on Covid-19. 

He said action would be taken, as reports were being released by the SIU, adding they were doing this to win back people's confidence. 

Makhura added that, once investigations were concluded, criminal charges would be instituted and processes to recover stolen money would also get underway. 

He said, as a way of being more transparent, the province would now use the open tender system, which was introduced in 2014. 

He said the system had worked and pushed back corruption, but, that it could not be implemented during the Covid-19 period. 

"So we [are] immediately bringing back the open tender system. The second thing is that we will also, monthly, publish any new tenders that had been adjudicated and awarded by any department in Gauteng. That is public information that must be known, not just Covid-19, any tender," Makhura said. 

Provincial Treasury would now make the information available to the public on a monthly basis, as decided by the the provincial executive council on Wednesday. 

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He said these processes would assist and ensure that the province was held publicly accountable to its commitment of clean governance. 

"This period of Covid-19 and the corruption that has happened here has discredited every effort we put in place over a sustained period of time. So essentially, we are forced to start fresh. And there must be consequences where wrongdoing has happened and there shall be consequences," the premier said. 

Corruption came under the spotlight in the province after the Sunday Independent reported on the awarding of a personal protective equipment contract amounting to R125 million to President Cyril Ramaphosa's spokesperson Khusela Diko's husband, Madzikane II Thandisizwe Diko. 

Health MEC Bandile Masuku's wife Loyiso, who is a member of the mayoral committee in the City of Johannesburg, was also linked. 

Makhura placed Masuku on leave, pending the investigation into the corruption saga, News24 reported. 

Diko and Masuku's wife, Loyiso, are also on leave. 

On Wednesday, News24 also reported that the Provincial Integrity Committee was expected to start its investigation. 

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