DA: Reject bill, investigate funds being awarded without tenders

Boitumelo Babuseng, MPL

DA Provincial Spokesperson on Economic Affairs:

The Democratic Alliance will be voicing our concerns on the second adjustment appropriation bill for 2014/15, which will be discussed during a committee meeting tomorrow at the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature. We are of the view that the second adjustment appropriation bill must be rejected and irregular awards must be investigated immediately.

 

An amount of R60 million had been transferred to the provincial department of Transport, Safety & Liaision for road safety education and awareness. The money had been transferred to a private company without due tender processes being followed.

 

We can never allocate public funds without following the right processes. It is understood that unspent funds will have to be surrendered, as the funds were transferred with the condition that all funds must be spent at the end of the 2014/15 financial year.

Accordingly, as at the 31st of January 2015, 75% of the funds had been spent.

 

The second adjustment appropriation bill also allocated R5.7 million to NCEDA to accelerate the planning and development of Special Economic Zones. As we speak, NCEDA only has one board member and no supply chain management unit. Public funds transferred to the entity are allocated on the say-so of the chairperson. This arrangement flouts both the PFMA and Treasury Regulations. Tenders can only be awarded after competitive bids have been invited or once a bid committee has made a decision.

 

We call on the provincial Treasury to investigate the awards that have been made. Section 18 of the PFMA gives the provincial Treasury the authority to exercise control over the implementation of the provincial budget and to promote transparency and effective management. We cannot allow a situation where public funds are being paid out to companies without tenders.

 

The second adjustment appropriation bill had already been rejected by the House for technical flaws. We believe that it should be rejected on the basis of dodgy tenders too.