12 October 2017

South Africa: Parliament - Treasury's Chief Procurement Officer Ducks and Dives About SAA

analysis

Acting Chief Procurement Officer Willie Mathebula proclaimed his office's automated supplier register as "quite an achievement", but was evasive regarding the review of contracts at SAA. The official list of reviews of contracts worth more than R10-million presented to finance committee MPs included troubled state-owned entities Eskom and Prasa alongside the SABC. SAA slipped in during questions by Parliament's finance committee. That's not unsurprising as the national airline received R5.2-billion in government bailouts in the past three months. By MARIANNE MERTEN.

Maybe it was a slip of the tongue, that comment about an SAA contract review, but DA MP Alf Lees followed up. It then emerged that it wasn't actually the Office of the Chief Procurement Officer (OCPO) that was looking into those contracts, but the Office of the Accountant-General in the National Treasury. That office's responsibilities, according to the National Treasury website, was "to promote and enforce transparency and effective management in respect of revenue expenditure, assets and liabilities of institutions in all three spheres of government".

"I do know there are discussions within Treasury," said Acting Chief Procurement Officer Willie Mathebula, adding to a later follow-up: "I've tried to answer to the best of my ability... I can't...

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