When President Cyril Ramaphosa declared the national state of disaster, it gave the government powers it would not otherwise have. This is generally seen as A Good Thing, as it makes it much easier to deploy the requisite resources to deal with the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, which could involve state equipment, stores, facilities and vehicles.

Seasoned corruption watchers — every single sentient South African, in other words — will, however, raise an eyebrow at the fact that regulations for emergency procurement procedures can be issued. This means the standard procurement rules are suspended, and the requirement to obtain multiple quotes doesn’t hold any more. (Of course, cynics will translate this as simply meaning that the requirement to obtain fake inflated quotes falls away, letting corrupt state officials leap right in with their cousin’s, husband’s or childhood friend’s rigged quote.)..

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