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SIU report clears KwaDukuza Municipality after allegations of irregular procurement, irregular procurement process and inflated prices for Covid-19 PPE

The investigation accounted for the procurement of goods and services between July 23, 2020 and September 30, 2021, in respect of South Africa’s national state of disaster. File Picture: Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA).

The investigation accounted for the procurement of goods and services between July 23, 2020 and September 30, 2021, in respect of South Africa’s national state of disaster. File Picture: Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA).

Published Jan 27, 2022

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DURBAN - The KwaDukuza Local Municipality has been cleared by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) on allegations of irregular procurement for Covid-19 personal protective equipment (PPE).

Mayor Lindile Nhaca welcomed the outcomes of the SIU into the allegations which cleared all claims of irregularities against the KwaDukuza Municipality.

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“We welcome the positive outcomes of this investigation. Clearly, the report sends a strong message that KwaDukuza is not about fraud and corruption, but it is an institution that is committed to providing services to the community in the best interest of the people,” Nhaca said.

“KwaDukuza Municipality is sitting with a total of 14 consecutive unqualified audit reports and many of such audits have been without material corrections to the Annual Financial Statements, which means that we are an institution that does things by the book.

“We also welcome all efforts by whistle-blowers who are committed to ensuring that the government is accountable, but we will always have a dim view of naysayers who are bent on turning us into victims of our own successes,” Nhaca said.

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The investigation accounted for the procurement of goods and services between July 23, 2020 and September 30, 2021, in respect of South Africa’s national state of disaster.

Based on the SIU’s report, 32 service providers with business amounting to R3 843 232 from 63 contracts were probed.

According to the SIU, the investigation emanated from a whistle-blower involved in KwaDukuza. The allegations were that KwaDukuza incurred irregular expenditure, followed an irregular procurement process in the appointment of service providers, and service providers inflated the prices in their contracts.

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During the investigation into the 32 service providers, the SIU identified the following:

  • The service providers tendered for supplying KwaDukuza with PPE items pursuant to an invitation to bid advertised on the municipality website.
  • This process resulted in a supplier database being created for KwaDukuza. The service providers were contacted by the supply chain management officials at KwaDukuza to provide quotes for certain items.
  • All service providers were requested to provide a sample of the items for KwaDukuza’s approval.
  • Once approved, the service providers were issued with orders and delivery was to take place.

“The SIU investigation into the above matters revealed that KwaDukuza advertised for the supply of PPE on their website. All service providers who responded to the adverts were placed on a supplier database according to their responses and their ability to supply chosen products within the time frames sought by KwaDukuza,” read the report.

“The system adopted by KwaDukuza tested the market, which was found to be fair. No irregularities were identified in the procurement process.”

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The SIU submitted a referral to the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) against Khehloz Wheel Projects (Pty) Ltd and Konkrit Business Solutions on March 24, 2021, and a further eight referrals to Sahpra were submitted on April 21, 2021, against Dhanasagri Trading and Projects (Pty) Ltd, Get Smart Safety Medical and General Suppliers (Pty) Ltd, Impumelelo CKA Darnal, Life Employee Health Solution, Sgwerango Holdings 16 (Pty) Ltd, Shayimpi Security and Trading, T & T Chemicals CC and Vesta Creations CC.

Total value of the contracts amounts to R328 095. The referrals to Sahpra were based on the fact that the service providers were not licensed or registered with Sahpra to supply or distribute medical devices (certain categorised PPE).

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