Joburg official nailed for allegedly awarding R18m PPE tenders
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Pretoria - A senior official at the City of Joburg Property Company allegedly awarded personal protective equipment (PPE) contracts irregularly, costing the municipality at least R18 million in fruitless and wasteful expenditure last year.
The tender in question was awarded to four companies for deep cleaning and sanitisation services during the national state of disaster in light of the Covid-19 outbreak, according to the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) report.
The report, dated March 29, 2021, stated that the general manager for special projects – identified as Gowrie Sunker – was found to have committed financial misconduct by flouting Section 172 of the Municipal Finance Management Act and disregarded supply chain management policies during a tender-awarding process.
The report was sent to acting city manager Floyd Brink, who was asked to provide the SIU with the outcomes of any action he may choose to institute against Sunker before the submission of the report to President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Last year, Ramaphosa evoked a proclamation authorising the crime-busting unit to investigate allegations relating to “any unlawful and improper conduct in the procurement of any goods, works and services during or related to the national state of disaster in any state institution”.
Asked about the SIU report and possible action taken against Sunker, municipal spokesperson Nthatisi Modingoane said: “The City would have to consider the report before it could determine whether there would be any sanctions, which is what the City is doing at this stage.”
Evidence collated by the SIU suggested that Sunker had “committed misconduct in relation to the awarding of a contract to provide deep cleaning and sanitisation services” to four service providers. The implicated service providers were KM Mashigo Trading CC, Omphile Turnkey & Solutions (Pty) Ltd, Mazina Trading (Pty) Ltd and Triple SL Tech CC.
According to the report, Sunker committed financial misconduct by flouting Section 172 of the Act when he allowed management to process the awarding of tenders to service providers “knowing very well that there was no supply chain management compliance”.
Contacted for comment, Sunker told the Pretoria News that he was not actively involved in the awarding of the tender in question.
SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago was approached for comment, but had yet to respond by publishing deadline.