Sihle Zikalala. Picture: RAJESH JANTILAL
Sihle Zikalala. Picture: RAJESH JANTILAL

Almost 40% of the R2.1bn spent by the KwaZulu-Natal provincial government on procuring personal protective equipment (PPE) and other goods and services as part of the response to Covid-19 was spent on African-owned companies.

Premier Sihle Zikalala made these statistics available when he released a report on owners and directors of companies awarded Covid-19 contracts on Thursday.

“Our analysis shows that out of this total of R2.1bn‚ R810m (38.4%) was spent on African-owned companies. The total of African-owned companies used was 235 (60%) out of a total of 392 companies‚” he said.

The spend on Indian-owned companies was R622m.

“The analysis further shows that R37m (1.8%) was spent on white-owned companies‚ a total of R31m on companies with owners showing a mixed racial profile‚ while R10m was spent on companies owned by coloured people and R9.7m on companies owned by Asians‚” Zikalala said.

He said suppliers who had more than 50% female ownership accounted for 33% of the spend while about 15% of the total was spent supporting young business owners.

Almost R1.8m went to suppliers whose owners were not registered on the Central Supplier Database‚ therefore no details were available, he said.

There were three companies‚ which received R1.8m‚ that were registered only at the end of March.

“We are unable to provide the same detail for municipalities at this stage because the reporting format and the IT systems applicable are different. It is‚ however‚ work in progress. The  Treasury issued new directives and municipalities‚ too‚ will have to report in a format that will enable the extraction of directors or owners’ details‚” said Zikalala.

He said the report was not meant to pass judgment on the process of procurement or any of the companies awarded contracts.

“We are releasing the information merely to account and be transparent to our people. Should we find‚ at a later stage‚ that there was something untoward in the awarding of the contracts‚ we will not hesitate to act.”

Meanwhile‚ the State Security Agency and SA Revenue Service  have been approached on the process of conducting lifestyle audits on the province’s executive council and senior officials.

“We have been advised via correspondence about the processes in motion to finalise all relevant details that will guide the process nationally‚” Zikalala said.

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