Anthony Benadie MPL
Provincial Leader – Mpumalanga
The DA in Mpumalanga has received damning information about PtyTrade 73 (Pty) Ltd T/A EduSolutions (better known as EduSolutions), the same company implicated in the textbook disaster in Limpopo.
Documented information in our possession shows that EduSolutions has been awarded a multimillion rand tender for the supply and distribution of Learner Teacher Supply Materials (LTSM), including textbooks in Mpumalanga.
According to our information, it is clear that the supply chain division in the Mpumalanga Education Department received and captured an EduSolutions tender document, nearly a month before the bid committee awarded the contract.
Furthermore, the DA has reliably been informed that, according to the agreement between the education department and EduSolutions, this company makes its money from being paid a percentage of the funds ‘saved’ by the department, arising from discounts afforded to them by suppliers.
According to our information, the Education Department CFO, Mr CB Mnisi, unilaterally decided that 60% of all discounts provided by book suppliers would go to EduSolutions.
This means that EduSolutions is pocketing millions of rands which the department could otherwise have used to employ more teachers or provide equipment to schools.
Strangely, the Mpumalanga education department is also paying EduSolutions an additional 15% over and above the cost of ‘non-discounted’ items.
The EduSolutions tender is worth over R120 million, whereas the same service cost the department a fraction of the price when it was previously rendered in-house.
Reliable sources have confirmed that the CFO has classified EduSolutions as a priority debtor. To this end, EduSolutions was paid over R100 million while other debtors’ invoices, ranging from a few thousand to over R4 million, continue to pile up despite being outstanding for up to five months.
To get some clarity on the matter, the DA will submit formal parliamentary questions to Mpumalanga Education MEC Regina Mhaule, asking her to divulge and explain all payments made to EduSolutions. We will also ask MEC Mhaule to explain why the tender was captured and stamped before reaching the bid committee, and whether any other service provider has been appointed to supply and distribute LTSM in Mpumalanga.
The DA is also concerned about the questionable decisions of the departmental CFO, and will ask MEC Mhaule to explain why Mr Mnisi would prioritise payments to EduSolutions before any other debtors and suppliers.
The DA firmly believes that EduSolutions, and all its dealings with government across the country, needs to be fully investigated.