CAPE TOWN – The Democratic Alliance has called on Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba to assure parliament and the South African public that two mega-contracts between government and Chinese parastatals will not go ahead without the procurement laws being adhered to.
“According to media reports, the water and sanitation department as well as the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) are in the process of handing contracts worth R70 billion to Chinese parastatals without a public tender or permission from [the National] Treasury to bypass tender laws,” DA spokesman Alf Lees said on Sunday.
Gigaba should urgently account for the National Treasury’s alleged planned deviation in the competitive tendering process and give an assurance that due procedure would be followed before handing over the R70 billion contacts to Chinese companies without the proper tendering process, he said.
“The last thing that South Africa can afford right now is another corrupt multi-billion rand intergovernmental tender deal. Earlier this year the Western Cape High Court ruled that the process leading to government signing agreements with Russia for a nuclear contract was ‘flawed, unconstitutional, and not in line with sound decision making’.”
The DA would not allow an attempt at grand corruption of this sort to occur again and would use all available avenues to challenge the lack of due process in these deals. Treasury had to account to parliament on its involvement in these negotiations and provide a full disclosure on whether the legal tender process was being followed.
The DA would pose these questions to Treasury when it appeared before the standing committee on finance on Wednesday next week. Gigaba should act in an open and accountable manner to the South African public on this massive deal that currently seemed to be flouting all competitive tender processes, Lees said.