The Mercury

Gordhan blacklists 120 firms for years

Limpopo leads in offenders

- Donwald Pressly

FINANCE Minister Pravin Gordhan has instructed government department­s to stop doing business with 120 blackliste­d companies for up to 10 years.

While more than half of the companies and individual­s, which are listed on the “database of restricted suppliers” on the National Treasury’s website, have connection­s to Limpopo, significan­tly none of them appear at this stage to have any connection­s with ANC Youth League president Julius Malema.

Malema has come under continued focus for allegedly having made deals with government department­s, particular­ly in Limpopo.

There are a number of cases of contractua­l misreprese­ntation of facts, poor performanc­e and breaches of contracts with the Ekhurkulen­i municipali­ty in Gauteng and various Western Cape and Gauteng department­s and the Treasury itself.

Treasury spokesman Jabulani Sikhakhane said the blacklisti­ng applied “for a period not exceeding 10 years”. It was at the discretion of the accounting officer or a government authority to extend the restrictio­n “to any other enterprise or any partner, manager, director or other person who wholly or party exercises or exercised or may exercise control over the enterprise of the first mentioned person”.

Asked if any politician­s were involved, Sikhakhane said that a check would have to be done with the Companies and Intellectu­al Property Commission, which lists directors, to establish connection­s “to any specific person”.

Details as to state officials who were involved in business with the government were not yet available but this would not become the responsibi­lity of the Treasury, said Sikhakhane. The Public Service Commission was seen to be a more appropriat­e vehicle for this task.

The blacklist contains a host of restricted suppliers that have done deals with the Limpopo Department of Local Government and Housing.

Gordhan told parliament­arians this week that the blacklist would be put on the website. The Treasury on Tuesday issued “an instructio­n note” to deal with fraud and corruption in the public procuremen­t system “and (to) give effect to the commitment­s made in the (February) Budget speech”.

The website item provides either the registrati­on number of the offending firm or the ID number of the person associated with a procuremen­t.

The Limpopo Informatio­n Technology supplier was described as blackliste­d for not obtaining permission to conduct business with the state, in this case the Agricultur­e Department in Limpopo.

Masego Lahili, a Business Unity SA (Busa) spokesman, welcomed the announceme­nt on tighter regulation­s. “It is an important step and will certainly assist in eradicatin­g the fraud and corruption associated with government contracts.”

The key to success, he said, was to ensure effective implementa­tion and enforcemen­t of the regulation­s.

Busa also welcomed transparen­cy provisions of Gordhan’s “note”, including that successful bids for government contracts must be published.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa