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In recent weeks South African’s have been inundated with reports over widespread allegations of corruption involving funds which were meant to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. At the forefront of these reports has been the R125 million personal protective equipment tender awarded to King Madzikane II Diko’s Royal Bacha projects. The reality is that there are those within state and other institutions that enable the situation. The Covid-19 pandemic is simply an opportunity for some to exploit the situation.

It is a disgrace to the citizens of South Africa that there are those appointed into positions of authority and power, and who are meant to provide for, and protect their people who have no conscious about stealing money that was meant for protective equipment. It has been said that “covidpreneurship” is happening whilst millions of South Africans are facing job losses and increased poverty. The daily media reports and stories of those citizens of our country who are facing malnutrition, retrenchment, business closures, and of communities being unable to access healthcare is deplorable.

In light of the recent allegations of corruption our President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed an inter ministerial committee to deal with these allegations in all procurement of resources for the country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. All Ministers and Premiers have been called upon by our President to provide information including the names of companies and amounts of tenders and contracts that have been awarded by government departments and other entities during the COVID-19 national state of disaster period. The report which is to be prepared by the committee is expected to be released to the public.

The sad truth is that the story of COVID PPE procurement is a disaster story of the State squandering its limited finances on corruption during the worst economic crisis our country has ever faced.

Author – Kate Bailey – Hill

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