18 February 2010 | Jake Kanter
South Africa will root out corruption in public sector procurement, according to president Jacob Zuma.
He said this just days after five public officials were arrested in connection with procurement fraud.
Speaking in parliament this week, Zuma said the government planned to establish a tender compliance unit and would introduce supply chain fraud audits.
Giving details of the announcement yesterday, finance minister Pravin Gordhan said corruption was a major cause of waste and inefficiency in purchasing procedures.
“Through a combination of corrupt practices, inefficient procurement, poor planning and, in some instances, collusion by the private sector, we are not getting the kind of value from our purchases that our people deserve,” he said.
Gordhan explained that funding has been made available to strengthen supply chain management and departments have “intensified efforts” to root out corrupt individuals. He added that spending data would be improved and a ministerial committee on corruption has been established.
Gordhan said more arrests were expected following the five last week. There are currently no more details about the arrests.
“Corruption is an ever-present threat to our ambitions. All South Africans must constantly and consciously work to root out this cancer,” Gordhan said.