SIU welcomes invalidation of R4.8m Covid-19 awareness tender

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has welcomed the Special Tribunal’s decision to set aside the R4.8-million contract awarded to Phathilizwi Training Institute to conduct a Covid-19 awareness campaign for the OR Tambo municipality in the Eastern Cape.

In a statement on Thursday, SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said: “In January 2019, the municipality awarded Phathilizwi a tender to conduct community education workshops within the municipality for a period of 12 months. On 24 February 2020, the municipality extended the tender by a period of six months.”

According to Kganyago, the original tender was designed to encourage community members to participate in municipal programmes with a full understanding of local government processes.

“The extended tender was for a completely different activity, namely a Covid-19 door-to-door campaign,” he said.

The tribunal ruled that the extension was invalid and unlawful after a probe found that the municipality had failed to comply with the emergency procurement process when extending the contract.

Kgangayo said the regulations were promulgated to give effect to the values of fairness, equity, transparency, competitiveness, and cost-effectiveness in public procurement as mandated by section 217(1) of the constitution.

He said: “[The Special Tribunal has] ordered the municipality not to pay two tax invoices in the amount of R3 036 000.00 and R1 821 600.00 for the service allegedly rendered by the training institute as part of the unlawful and invalid contract. The Special Tribunal also ordered Phathilizwi to pay for the SIU’s legal costs.

“The outcome of the Special Tribunal is a continuation of the implementation of SIU investigation outcomes and consequence management to recover financial losses suffered by state institutions and hold those responsible to account for the actions through a justice process.”

Also read: Corrupt City of Ekurhuleni tenderpreneurs sent to jail for fraud

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