Finance minister Tito Mboweni and National Treasury officials are to be called before parliament’s two finance committees next week to brief MPs on the government's procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE), which has been plagued by allegations of corruption.
There have been reports of inflated prices being paid by provincial governments as well as contracts being given to the well connected. This has been in relation to the procurement of PPE and the distribution of food parcels, reports BusinessLIVE.
The government has made a commitment to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to be transparent in the spending of Covid-19 relief funds when applying for a $4.3bn (R70bn) loan, which was approved by the IMF executive board on Monday.
Standing committee on finance chair Joe Maswanganyi noted at a meeting of the two committees on Tuesday that people were losing jobs while others were amassing wealth at the expense of the country. This had caused public outrage and had to be investigated.
As well as allegations of corruption in relation to the procurement of PPE, particularly in Gauteng, he said there were similar allegations about the procurement of blankets in KwaZulu-Natal and scooters for use as ambulances in the Eastern Cape.
Maswanganyi said Treasury director-general Dondo Mogajane and officials from the Treasury’s procurement office should also appear before MPs with Mboweni to indicate whether the tenders for PPE were open, equitable, transparent, competitive and cost-effective, as demanded by the constitution.