Corruption-epidemic in South Africa is what must be combated now
20 May 2020
More and more shocking allegations of extensive corruption under the guise of the Covid-19 pandemic have come to the attention of the FF Plus and the party is seriously concerned about the looting of the disaster fund and the state coffers, which could easily and very soon become an even greater crisis than the pandemic itself.
This epidemic corruption could do even more damage to the South African economy than the Covid-19 pandemic. When the already scarce tax money is misappropriated and the looming famine becomes critical, South Africa will have serious problems on hand because there will simply not be any money left.
In terms of the disaster regulations, government entities are allowed to speed up tender processes and deviate from the normal procurement procedures. It now appears that some of the government departments are abusing the leeway for deviations to award irregular contracts that relate to products and services that have nothing to do with combating the pandemic.
This creates a fertile breeding ground for extensive corruption and if action is not taken soon, billions of rand could be lost.
There are also various rumours of companies that were created overnight to deliver products and services that apparently relate to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has already indicated that it is engaging with The Hawks and investigating "serious allegations" of alleged irregularities that relate mainly to tenders.
Some of the allegations that came to the attention of the SIU apparently refer to irregularities relating to the distribution of food and protective clothing.
This raises many questions, like why the ANC is so zealous to control the distribution of food to communities in need and why school buildings that have been vacant for months must now be sanitised at the cost of millions of rand, while it is not even necessary.
It comes as no surprise to the FF Plus that allowing for tenders and procurement procedures to be fast tracked paved the way for fraud and corruption. Therefore, all deviations from normal procurement procedures and all fast-tracked tender allocations executed during the lockdown period must be thoroughly investigated.
The tragedy of the matter is that the money that is being looted is vital for the delivery of essential services, to save business enterprises from financial ruin and to put food on the table for those who are starving.
FF Plus members of Parliament have already sent questions to the various departments to enquire about the details of companies that were awarded tenders during the lockdown period, what type of products and services these companies delivered and what the tenders amount to.
The FF Plus will fight against corruption with all its might. After the Gupta state capture, the country simply cannot afford a second state capture through the misappropriation of funds under the guise of the pandemic.
Issued by Pieter Groenewald, FF Plus leader, 20 May 2020