State ‘lax on procurement’

The government had comprehensive public procurement regulations in place but was weak in implementing them, deputy public protector Kevin Malunga said last week. The purpose of the regulatory framework was to ensure the government procured goods or services in a way that was fair, equitable, transparent, competitive, and cost effective, he told the annual GovLaw Conference in Pretoria. “However, reports by the public protector, auditor-general, and research by oversight bodies, such as the Public Service Commission, have consistently shown weaknesses in the implementation of the framework,” he said. Malunga added that maladministration and corruption continued to derail public service delivery. – Sapa


Ramaphosa ‘to lead economy’

President Jacob Zuma was set to appoint Cyril Ramaphosa as his deputy in a new cabinet to help oversee implementation of the government’s economic plan, Lindiwe Zulu, an adviser to Zuma, said last week. “Cyril is likely to be the deputy president in line with ANC procedure, because whoever has been elected the president or deputy president in the party takes up that position in government,” Zulu said. “There hasn’t been any indication that he will not take up the position. President Zuma and the country needs a strong deputy in cabinet.” – Bloomberg


Farmers choose to mechanise

Agriculture in South Africa was doing well, but farmers were mechanising to circumvent labour laws, a farmer and an analyst have said, according to Rapport. “To avoid labour legislation, we’re mechanising,” Carel Brüssow, a North West grain farmer, said at the 48th Nampo Harvest Day held near Bothaville in the Free State last week. This was due to land claims, higher minimum wages for farmworkers, and other restrictive labour legislation. As an indication of the health of agriculture, four state-of-the-art tractors, each costing R4.5 million, were sold on the first two days of the agriculture show, held between Tuesday and Friday. – Sapa


Foreign arrivals soar in the Cape

The number of international tourists visiting Cape Town between January and March this year increased from last year, the provincial Tourism Department said yesterday. “International arrivals between January and March totalled 230 722. This is up from 223 047 over the same time period last year,” Western Cape Tourism MEC Alan Winde said in a statement. Winde said that December had been one of the best holiday seasons recorded. – Sapa