Urgent investigation into procurement of temporary structures needed

Urgent investigation into procurement of temporary structures needed

The Democratic Alliance is calling for an urgent investigation into the procurement of temporary structures by the Department of Human Settlements in the Eastern Cape. These temporary structures were procured through deviation and without a competitive bidding process

This was revealed in a response to a parliamentary question from the DA to MEC of Human Settlements, Nonkqubela Pieters. In the response MEC Pieters said 15 suppliers had been appointed through deviation, without a competitive bidding process, over the past two financial years.

The total value of the deviation is in excess of R300 million, but most concerning is the eight deviations shared between four companies in the 2019/2020 financial year to construct temporary shelters, totaling over R214 million.

(See IQP 23 Q 555 – specifically sub question 5 and 6)

One of the companies that benefited in these dodgy contracts is SQT Construction and Civils, receiving contracts valued at close on R50 million.

SQT Construction and Civils director is listed as Phumeza Mpengesi, believed to be the wife of the politically connected owner of Chippa United Football Club, Siviwe Mpengesi, who has close ties to the ANC.

The other three companies are Takela Trading, whose director is listed as Ke Tang, Vitsha Trading whose director is given as Lubabalo Swana, and Squard Five Productions, whose director is listed as Nceba Ntlokwana.

Another red flag is that these four companies each got identical contracts, to supply 450 temporary units, valued at exactly the same amount, of R31 425 970 each.

The DA is concerned that this could be another gross corruption scandal by the ANC government, disguised as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

I have written to the Special Investigations Unit, and have forwarded the response to them, to request that they extend their investigation to the provincial department of Human Settlements.

I will also be monitoring these contracts, and will be asking follow up questions on the implementation and delivery of the services listed.

The DA we will not rest up until this grand scale corruption is exposed.