SIU freezes assets worth R40.7m of Gauteng companies contracted for school fumigations

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Fumigation at Rhodesfield Technical High School in Kempton Park in preparation of the Opening of schools under Level 3 Lockdown. [Photo: GCIS]
Fumigation at Rhodesfield Technical High School in Kempton Park in preparation of the Opening of schools under Level 3 Lockdown. [Photo: GCIS]
  • The SIU has frozen the assets of 14 entities linked to a R431 million school decontamination tender.
  • The SIU found that 173 service providers were not accredited and not on the Central Supplier Database.
  • SIU is to launch review proceedings for an order to compel the service providers to pay back the money.

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has frozen the bank accounts and assets of 14 entities linked to a Gauteng Department of Education school decontamination tender worth R431 million.

The SIU was granted an order by the Special Tribunal to freeze assets and bank accounts worth R40.7 million, which belong to seven companies, five individuals and two family trusts, to which the education department awarded contracts.

In a statement on Thursday, the SIU described the selection and appointment of suppliers to sanitise schools in the province as haphazard and unfair. 

"Ordinarily, the Supply Chain Management (SCM) division of the department would select and appoint suppliers. In this case, the SIU investigation has revealed that the SCM division was not involved in the selection and appointment of service providers. Some of the names of service providers appointed were received via WhatsApp from officials in the department.

"The service providers were appointed without first checking whether they were accredited or appeared on the Central Supplier Database (CSD), the SIU investigation has revealed," said the unit. 

The SIU found that, of the 280 service providers appointed, 173 were not accredited and were not on the CSD.

Investigations also revealed that the procurement process was not cost-effective.

"The service providers were not paid per square metre of the area cleaned. Rather, a senior official in the department appears to have arbitrarily decided to offer a fee of R250 000 to R270 000 for the decontamination of primary schools; R250 000 to R290 000 for secondary schools; and R250 000 to R300 000 for district offices.

"The fees bear no relation to the work done by service providers or the cost of material used." 

The SIU added that it would also launch review proceedings in the Special Tribunal within the next 30 days for an order compelling the service providers to pay back the money.

Bank accounts, with the sum of R6 million and assets worth an estimated R4.7 million, were frozen. The assets included two Mercedes Benz V Class, a Range Rover Sport, Haval H6 and a Toyota Avanza. 

"The collaboration with the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) is very effective, and the FIC assisted - and, based on the information presented by the investigating team, issued intervention directions under Section 34 of the FIC Act to place a hold on R30 million of the funds received from the education department.

"This after seven service providers began dissipating the funds received from the department, upon receipt," said the SIU, adding that some of the funds were transferred to multiple beneficiaries. 

The SIU said investigations were ongoing and that evidence pointing to criminal activities would be referred to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), the Hawks and the South African Police Service (SAPS).

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
The ANC's leadership race is heating up. Who do you think will be elected party president at Nasrec in December?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has got it in the bag
7% - 808 votes
I foresee a second term for Cyril Ramaphosa
83% - 9256 votes
Don’t discount a Zweli Mkhize win
10% - 1086 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.