Clarity sought on Gauteng food parcel tender – Rifiloe Nt’sekhe

DA MPL says It is concerning that there were different prices per region for same bundle of items

DA seeks clarity on Gauteng food parcel tender 

6 August 2020

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is calling on Gauteng MEC for Social Development, Nomathemba Mokgethi to provide clarity on why the price of food parcels differ from one municipality to the next while only one tender was advertised for the whole province.

According to MEC Mokgethi, only one tender was advertised for the whole province and the bidders were requested to choose one region that they would like to tender for.

MEC Mokgethi was responding to the DA’s written questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL).

The tender specified standard contents of the required food parcel which were the same in all the regions; these were 10 kg maize meal , 5 kg rice, 2,5 kg sugar, 2 litre cooking ,1 kg salt, 2 by 410 g canned fish , 2 by 410 g canned beans, 2kg soya mice, 800g peanut butter, 100 per pack teabags, 500g detergent multi-purpose soap, 750 g all-purpose liquid soap, 750 ml dish washing liquid and 1 kg of each of the following vegetables: carrots, onion, potatoes, beetroot, spinach/cabbage.

However, it is concerning that there were different prices per region with the same food parcel in Tshwane costing R605; Ekurhuleni R558,67; Sedibeng R537; Johannesburg R498,36 and West Rand R458,94.

The reasons provided on why there were different prices per region is that the bidders were in competition within a region and not provincially hence the price differences.

The reasons provided are not satisfactory as the contents of the food parcels were the same for all service providers.

Even though the service providers might have used different brands, the difference between the highest and the lowest price per region is R146,06 per food parcel.

This is ridiculous as it clearly indicates that there were some service providers that overcharged the department.

It has now become a norm for service providers to use Covid-19 tenders for huge profits by overcharging the government.

The DA calls on MEC Mokgethi to investigate whether the service providers did overcharge the department per food parcel. We will also be tabling further questions at the Gauteng Provincial Legislature to ascertain who the service providers are; the financial cost of the tender; how much has been paid to the service providers and how many food parcels have been delivered by each service provider per region. These questions will also give insight into how much money could have been saved if all regions used the same specification with the same lowest prices whilst not compromising on food nutritional value.

Issued by Refiloe Nt’sekhe, DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Social Development, 6 August 2020