Deputy President David Mabuza says government’s poor procurement systems have led to large-scale COVID-19-related corruption. Mabuza was answering oral questions on various issues during a hybrid session of the National Assembly.
The leader of the African Christian Democratic Party, Kenneth Meshoe, posed a question to Mabuza about how corruption on the grand scale of COVID-19 related procurement, will be prevented in the future.
“As government, I am sure we were caught napping. Some of our procurement systems leave much to be desired. As we are speaking, we are dealing with procurement systems. It is time to close all loopholes that are there.”
Mabuza says law enforcement agencies are working hard to bring those who are found guilty, to book.
“The SIU is investigating up to R5 billion worth of contracts alleged to be improperly awarded to various companies, nationally, provincially, and municipal level in the procurement of PPEs. There have been more allegations referred to SAPS and other law enforcement for further investigation.”
He also appealed to Democratic Alliance (DA) Member of Parliament Siviwe Gwarube to allow law enforcement agencies to be given the space to do their work.
“Do you think, politically, connected individuals, like Ace Magashule, Khusela Diko should be removed from positions in government and your party,” asked Gwarube.
Mabuza answered, “ Let’s give them space, without interference, politically, mentioning names from time to time. Whatever happens in future, they will say this was discussed in Parliament. These names were mentioned in Parliament. We should avoid this.”
Mabuza says no load shedding is expected in the coming months, even though the system remains constrained. He says aging coal-fired power stations come with costly maintenance break downs.
The Deputy President says government is satisfied with the maintenance plan provided by the Eskom leadership.
“Our electricity supply system remains constrained but Eskom’s recovery plan provides for solutions in assisting, in closing the gap in the delivery of electricity supply, over the next 18 months to mitigate the potential risk of load shedding.”