Treasury to change COVID-19 emergency procurement rules

The strategy excluded a number of domestic suppliers and that it covered too wide an array of goods, especially goods that can be manufactured locally.
The National Treasury is changing its COVID-19 emergency procurement rules after concerns that the Disaster Management Central Emergency Procurement Strategy excluded a number of domestic suppliers.

Treasury says the new measures under the Public Finance Management Act will be published on its website soon.

It says that it remains committed to fair and competitive procurement processes as well as the empowerment of the previously disadvantaged groups and individuals.

In a statement, Treasury says the replacement follows various representations that have raised concerns about the procurement process, that the approach adopted has excluded a number of domestic suppliers and that it covered too wide an array of goods, especially goods that can be manufactured locally.

Treasury says the replaced Instruction Note and Circular were an initial response to the outbreak of the pandemic and was to allow for urgent procurement of critical health products at a time of great global shortages.

UIF COVID-19 relief payments

The National Employers’ Association of South Africa (NAESA) says a large portion of funds paid out to employees by the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) amid the national lockdown were incorrect amounts.

The UIF has paid out R3.3-billion in COVID-19 relief funding since March 27.

Government says it has received 103 000 applications from employers who represent 1.7 million employees.

NAESA Chief Executive Gerhard Papenfus says employers are experiencing problems when applying to the UIF system.

“It is extremely difficult for a small guy sitting somewhere in a rural area with a business applying for this system. It must be very frustrating. Businesses in the cities and accountants helping businesses are experiencing difficulties. Employers are battling. Less than 30% of those who did apply and receive their monies, 90% of them did not get the right amount. There is a problem with the system and it is not that employers are not applying, they are. Money in respect of one million employees has been paid out but there are 10 million workers in SA, that is a small amount,” says Papenfus.