MEC cancels R300m tenders
TWO Limpopo MECs are allegedly embroiled in a tender war after they were moved to different portfolios during premier Stan Mathabatha’s recent cabinet reshuffle.
At the centre of the row is believed to be the decision taken by the new MEC for transport and community safety Nandi Ndalane to suspend all tenders and contracts engineered by her predecessor and now agriculture MEC Mapula Mokaba-Phukwana.
Ndalane sent a directive to all senior officials in her department, including the CEO of parastatal Gateway Airport Authority Limited (Gaal) to cancel tenders worth more than R300-million.
Gaal, which is also responsible for the day-to-day operations and management of Polokwane Airport, cancelled three tenders worth R150million for security, cleaning and gardening services after the instruction.
Ndalane’s spokesman Joshua Kwapa said the MEC took the decision to cancel the contracts in order to familiarise herself with the work of the new department.
The MEC instructed that she be briefed on all matters at Gaal and the two departments [transport and community safety] on matters of governance, procurement, service delivery and many other administrative imperatives.
While this process is under way the MEC requested that procurement matters not only at Gaal but of the two departments under her portfolio be halted until she is fully briefed and brought on board,” he said.
The MEC has further advised that this process must be done with speed in order not to affect service delivery targets and so on. As soon as this process is complete, all processes shall continue without hindrance,” said Kwapa.
He said Ndalane and MokabaPhukwana met and discussed a handover.
MEC Ndalane will build on the foundation laid by MokabaPhukwana and ensure that she delivers on her new portfolio to the benefit of the people of Limpopo,” he said.
Mokaba-Phukwana confirmed that she was aware of the decision taken by her successor to cancel tenders and contracts which were already awarded.
She said she was worried the decision would affect service delivery.
I am afraid that could lead to delays and reversal of unspent budget to Treasury at the expense of much-needed service delivery. The matter could lead to an adverse report from the auditor-general.”
Mokaba-Phukwana said she had no hard feelings about Ndalane’s decision, adding that: I suspect that her decision was informed by some senior officials in the department who are and were opposed to be dealing with … corruption in the department.
The investigations led to six senior managers, including the CFO, suspended and charged with fraud and corruption.
Two resigned after realising that the department has a strong case against them. Three were found guilty and their services terminated. The remaining case is at its final stages and the DC outcome is expected soon.”
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