Bathabile Dlamini's spokesperson, Lumka Oliphant. Picture: CHESTER RAMULIFHO
Bathabile Dlamini's spokesperson, Lumka Oliphant. Picture: CHESTER RAMULIFHO

The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) has launched an investigation into allegations that it awarded two irregular tenders amounting to about R400m to an events company that also works with the Presidency.

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) said the tenders were given to the company in 2016 and that almost R221m had been spent.

The contracts are for two outreach programmes to be carried out nationwide over a three-year period.

Outa wants both contracts to be terminated and the money reclaimed because due processes were allegedly not followed.

The organisation has sent its findings to several government officials‚ demanding action against those implicated in the report.

"Both tenders were granted without following due process and were for services which could have either been performed in-house or were entirely unnecessary. (The company) was simply not capable of providing the services in terms of the tenders and either failed to provide proof that they had performed the service or falsely misrepresented that they had performed the service‚" said Outa’s report.

Sassa spokesperson Kgomotso Diseko said Sassa had received Outa’s report and an investigation was under way.

"If any wrongdoing emerges‚ appropriate action will be taken against anyone implicated‚" said Diseko.

Outa’s Dominique Msibi said: "Sassa‚ as many of our state entities‚ has been gravely affected by corruption. What is most concerning in this instance is that the rot comes from the top of the fish‚ the minister herself.

"It was brought to Outa’s attention by whistle blowers that the minister is personally responsible for awarding irregular tenders to the tune of R450m. Outa is doing further investigation in a bid to have these irregular contracts cancelled."

Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini’s spokesperson, Lumka Oliphant, said all questions should be directed to Sassa.

The events company has taken down its website and could not be reached for comment.

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