The DA is urging Premier Stan Mathabatha to fire MEC Kgetjepe with immediate effect after Kgetjepe’s failure to take action against officials within the Limpopo Department of Education for their appalling mismanagement of funds and the tender irregularities with regard to the National Schools Nutrition Programme (NSNP).
The DA can confirm that the bid process to extend the contracts of the existing service providers who were appointed in 2011 was never completed accordingly after their contracts lapsed in June 2013, due to various litigations and the expiry of the validity period of the tenders.
According to the Forensic Audit Report conducted on the Department of Education, the standard procurement process to appoint these service providers in line with the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) and the Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act regulations were not followed.
The report further indicates that the department did not follow the correct procedures to select the suppliers as there is no evidence that the service level agreements were concluded with the suppliers.
The department paid 13 suppliers over R76 million between May and June 2014 and a total amount of R882 million was allocated for the period between May 2014 and June 2015 despite the service level agreements not being in place.
The payments were constituted to be irregular by the Auditor General’s report due to the department’s failure to follow the correct procurement process.
The following is the financial breakdown of the irregular expenditure incurred by the department paying these suppliers:
|Name of the Supplier||May & June 2014||July 2014 –June 2015||Total|
|KLM Setati||R17 million||R204 million||R 221 million|
|Venbeck||R9.6 million||R65 million||R75 million|
|Limpopo Cash and Carry||R9.2 million||R79 million||R88 million|
|Shonalanga||R8.3 million||R60 million||R69 million|
|Rheinland||R6.4 million||R57 million||R64 million|
|African Dynamics||R5.4 million||R61 million||R66 million|
|Walking Tall||R5.3 million||R50 million||R56 million|
|Venpon||R4.5 million||R31 million||R35 million|
|Tshepang Bathabile||R4.3 million||R43 million||R47 million|
|Amandla Karabo||R2.2 million||R19 million||R21 million|
|Rikhohula||R2.2 million||R63 million||R66 million|
|Dingathana||R699 000||R22 million||R22.7 million|
|Desai||R47 million||R47 million|
|Total||R76 million||R806 million||R882 million|
To compound the matter, all these suppliers did not submit their tax clearance certificates, registration documents and proof of previous work to the department upon request.
According to the preferential procurement and supply chain management regulations, no tender may be awarded to any person whose tax matters have not been declared by the South African Revenue Service (SARS).
No disciplinary steps against any officials who permitted the irregular expenditure were taken by the then administrator, Mzwandile Matthews and former HOD, Khathutshelo Dederen in line with Section 38 of the PFMA to hold officials accountable and to recoup the money.
According to the forensic report, the duo are responsible for failing to implement the deviation process approved by the Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga pertaining to the procurement of service providers under this programme.
Some suppliers are still failing to deliver food to various schools across the province to date and no actions are being taken.
All these shenanigans are happening under the nose of Premier Stan Mathabatha, which proves that he does not have the political will to fire all the implicated officials starting with MEC Ishmael Kgetjepe, the Head of Department, directors, CFO and other senior management responsible for the financial mismanagement within the department.
Premier Mathabatha continues to fail his commitment to institute consequence management against officials who mismanage public funds.
The DA urges Premier Mathatbatha to remove MEC Kgetjepe for his continuous inability to act swiftly against maladministration, tender irregularities, mismanagement of funds and corruption – not only surrounding the programme but the entire department.
Jacques Smalle MPL
DA Provincial Spokesperson on Education
083 392 3334