COVID-19: KZN Gov says millions lost in irregular procurement of PPE and blankets

COVID-19: KZN Gov says millions lost in irregular procurement of PPE and blankets

KZN Premier, Sihle Zikalala says a forensic investigation into the procurement process for PPE and blankets amounting to millions of rands by the Social Development Department has been found to be irregular.

Sihle Zikalala Richards Bay Minerals
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Speaking in Durban, Zikalala revealed the outcomes of three investigations conducted by KZN Treasury prompted by allegations that the contracts were inflated and were linked to "connected individuals." 


Zikalala says in the procurement of PPE by the department, the investigation found significant irregularities that were caused by inadequate and ineffective systems of internal controls within the provincial Department of Social Development.


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"These included the purchase orders for PPE issued to 11 service providers prior to the approval of the procurement submission by the Accounting officers; some of the service providers exceeded the minimum amount of purchase as regulated under Treasury instruction notes." said Zikalala.

 

He said in some instances, quotations were changed three times and on each occasion, the quantities of the items were reduced in order to reduce the total cost of procurement.

 

"However, most noticeably there was no reduction of the pricing per unit. As a result of the above, the investigation concluded that all payments made to the service providers are irregular to the tune of R13 630 229.50. Had the Department applied the regulated prizes and processes correctly it would have saved R2 231 996.21." said Zikalala.

Zikalala added in the procurement of emergency blankets for COVID-19, the investigation revealed that there was evidence of abuse of deviation processes and that the entire process should be deemed irregular. He says there were however no reduction of the pricing per unit.

 

"The investigation further established that the supplier misrepresented the specifications of the blankets and that most blankets supplied were not in accordance with the specifications of 220x24cm in size. " said Zikalala.

 

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Zikalala added that the approximate financial loss to the department as a result of the misrepresentations amounts to  R15, 808, 000.


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