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Limpopo Premier, Chupu Mathabatha Pic: Premiers' office

“Our procurement is fair, any doubts, SIU is here,” says Premier

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Despite having brought in Special Investigations Unit (SIU) to probe suspected corruption related to COVID-19 procurement in the province, Limpopo Premier Chupu Mathabatha still believes the process is reasonable, straightforward, and under guidelines.

“We believe our sourcing is reasonable, straightforward, and compliant with guidelines. We purchase merchandise from companies registered on our central supplier database. If any doubts, the SIU is here to uncover wrongdoing so we can make the remedial move,” said Mathabatha.

Independent Online reported that Limpopo Department of Health has awarded a KwaZulu-Natal company a R185 million contract to supply Covid-19 personal protective equipments (PPE) despite it not appearing on the official database of suppliers.

But because we take allegations of corruption seriously, said Mathabatha, I brought in the SIU, authorised by President Cyril Ramaphosa to investigate the procurement corruption across the country to investigate the province’s R728 million COVID-19 alleged procurement fraud.

‘’ We are therefore determined that there should be no theft, no wastage, and no mismanagement of public funds. The consequences for those who break the law or bypass regulations will be severe. We call on anyone who may have proof or evidence of theft or corrupt COVID 19 PPEs activities to report to law enforcement agencies,” added Mathabatha.

Mathabatha said Health Department got R548 million (80.28%), followed by the Department of Education with R129 million (17.76%) and R14, 2 million (1.96%) transferred to other departments, including public entities.

“Whilst sometimes sources the items outside the province, these were unavoidable as there were no local suppliers for those specifications. As a result, province had to make sure PPEs are available at all costs.”

He said there have been significant empowerment where local businesses benefited, adding that Youth and women-owned businesses are amongst the businesses that benefitted from this procurement.

The Premier said the provincial Treasury is also busy reviewing the awards made by various institutions and verifying the information provided by provincial institutions.

“We will forward the information to accounting and other information management systems, to authenticate and verify compliance to the various National Treasury Instruction Notes.

“We will forward the information to accounting and other information management systems, to authenticate and verify compliance to the various National Treasury Instruction Notes.

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