14 March 2019

South Africa: SIU to Probe City of Joburg Tenders

President Cyril Ramaphosa has authorised the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to investigate alleged wrongdoing within the Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality.

The investigation will focus on service providers in the city's procurement of or contracting for vehicles known as the "red fleet" from Fire Raiders (Pty) Ltd in a 2014 tender valued at R86.4 million.

Whistleblowers have alleged that while the costs associated with the purchase of the "red fleet" were paid over to the service provider, delivery was not effected.

The President has referred the allegations to the SIU in terms of Section 2(1) of the Special Investigating Units and Special Tribunals Act of 1996 (Act No 74 of 1996).

The SIU has been authorised to investigate any alleged serious maladministration in connection with the affairs of the municipality, improper or unlawful conduct by employees or officials of the municipality, unlawful appropriation or expenditure of public money or property, and unlawful, irregular or unapproved acquisitive acts, transactions, measures or practices that have a bearing on state property.

The Presidency says the SIU will probe whether municipal employees, officials, contractors or service providers had acted in a corrupt manner, engaged in fraudulent, unauthorized, irregular or fruitless and wasteful expenditure, or had acted in a corrupt manner or unduly benefited themselves or other persons or entities.

"The investigation will cover the period between 1 January 2009 and the present will look into suspected intentional or negligent loss of public money or damage to public property, possible offences under the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act and unlawful or improper conduct which has caused or may cause serious harm to the interests of the public," the Presidency said in a statement.

These terms of reference will apply also to allegations of wrongdoing regarding repairs and maintenance work at fire stations in the City of Johannesburg, the procurement of closed-circuit television equipment and related services from SOS Protecsure National Division CC, and the procurement of or contracting for office accommodation and furniture for the city's Integrated Operations Centre.

National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS)

Meanwhile, President Ramaphosa has also directed the SIU to investigate multiple allegations of maladministration, improper or unlawful conduct and intentional or negligent loss of public money concerning the NHLS.

The NHLS is the largest diagnostic pathology service in South Africa with the responsibility of supporting the national and provincial health departments in the delivery of healthcare.

The service provides laboratory and related public health services to over 80% of the population through a national network of laboratories.

The allegations of wrongdoing pertain to the period between 1 July 2015 and the present.

In a proclamation in terms of the Special Investigating Units and Special Tribunals Act of 1996 (Act 74 of 1996), the President has directed that allegations be investigated and that civil proceedings emanating from such investigation be adjudicated upon.

The SIU investigation will cover:

The provision of end user computer hardware and related maintenance and support services for a period of three years in terms of Tender RFB 027/15-16.

The provision of a multi-protocol label switching wide area network (MPLS WAN) service to the NHLS for a period of three years in terms of Tender RFB 030/15-16.

The leasing of motor vehicles for the NHLS for a period of five years in terms of Tender RFP 001/15-16.

The replacement of water, sewer and drainage pipes in terms of Tender RFP1455602.

The renovation of the library at the National Institute of Occupational Health in Braamfontein in terms of Tender RFQ 1438906.

The renovation of the virology laboratory at Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital in terms of Tender RFQ 1481824.

The renovation of toilets at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases in terms of Tender RFQ 0695750.

Professional services for the construction of a refectory at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases in terms of Tender RFQ 1409815.

Professional services for the design, project management and the certification of renovations and structural changes to the Ermelo Laboratory in terms of Tender RFQ 706002.

The replacement of the waterproofing at the Centre for Enteric Diseases in terms of Tender RFQ 0961241.

The renovation of the Centre for Respiratory Diseases and Meningitis in terms of Tender RFQ 1486702.

Professional services for the design, project management and the certification of renovations and structural changes to the Diagnostic Media Products Building in terms of Tender RFQ 1351823.

Construction of a kitchen and function area in terms of Tender RFB031/16-17, which was re-advertised as Tender RFB062/15-16.

Any unlawful or improper conduct by the employees or officials of the NHLS or applicable service providers will be examined by the SIU.

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