SACP in KZN welcomes probe into R22m blanket deal
Durban - The South African Communist Party (SACP) in Moses Mabhida has welcomed KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala's swift investigation into the social development department's R22 million procurement of blankets for homeless shelters in the fight against Covid-19.
"We hope that the investigation is going to be done and completed as quickly as possible. We urge the premier to tighten the terms of reference and timeframes to pursue this matter to rest.
"The time frame should not exceed 14 days as this matter is sensitive and urgent."
The party was scathing in its response to the provincial treasury department saying that in the past "it has also been used to manage allegations of corruption or maladministration of this nature and magnitude".
"Meanwhile, we are also going to be doing our own investigation on this matter, since we are already receiving disturbing information on the story behind the purchase of these blankets."
The SACP said that nothing has happened to many people fingered in the past in allegations of corruption in money meant for drought alleviation, as well as the disaster funds for the more recent floods in the province
"There are people who have changed from church mouse to instant millionaires through disaster fund. Nothing has been done to them. We demand the outcome of the investigation within the next seven to 14 days," SACP provincial spokesperson, Sifiso Gwala, said.
The party was reacting to the purchase of R22 million worth of blankets for the homeless in KwaZulu-Natal that has raised concerns that the Covid-19 outbreak is being used to flout tender processes and loot state coffers, the Mercury reported on Wednesday.
The report said KZN social development MEC Nonhlanhla Khoza has warned that she will not tolerate corruption, and has called for a full investigation into the deal and the department's spokesperson, Mhlaba Memela, has confirmed that the sourcing of the blankets did not go out to tender.
He said after President Cyril Ramaphosa declared Covid-19 a national disaster, the procurement of the blankets was conducted as an emergency, in line with National Treasury regulations, the newspaper reported.
African News Agency/ANA