Mboweni allocates another R63 million to Zondo Commission
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JOHANNESBURG – Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said on Wednesday he was making available an additional R63 million ($3.84 million) in funding for the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture in one of the rare new in-year allocations in his medium-term budget policy statement.
The money will come through the department of justice and will be used to finalise the commission’s investigations and produce its closing report with findings on the sprawling state capture scandal, Mboweni told Parliament.
The work of the commission has gained increased practical relevance through a special presidential proclamation that allows the National Prosecuting Authority access to the evidence it has gathered. The past month has seen a spate of high-profile corruption arrests, with many more promised.
Mboweni addressed a wave of corruption that compromised the government’s procurement drive related to the Covid-19 pandemic, noting that as reports of malfeasance emerged, the National Treasury withdrew emergency procurement regulations that were meant to speed up delivery and allow departments to respond to the health crisis rapidly.
Instead, it forced all state entities to revert to an open-tender system.
Mboweni said the government was committed to finalising the Public Procurement Bill in 2021/22 and reviewing procurement rules for national, provincial and local departments.
Technology would increasingly be used to prevent graft by way of providing what the treasury termed “real-time” information on tax compliance and track records of prospective service providers to the state, he added.
Law enforcement agencies said earlier this month they are investigating contracts worth more than R10 billion for procurement for goods and services to help combat the coronavirus crisis. The amount accounts for two-thirds of the total spent on procurement related to the pandemic.
– African News Agency (ANA)