15 June 2010 | Neil Oelofse
The premier of Gauteng, the wealthiest province in South Africa, has announced a summit involving all sectors of society aimed at addressing corruption in the supply chain.
Delivering her budget speech, Nomvula Mokonyane said corruption threatened the country’s democracy.
“We will pay special attention to promoting ethical procurement and introducing greater transparency in our procurement processes so that more people in our communities are able to benefit from government contracts.”
The premier’s media spokesman, Dumisani Zulu, told SM that representatives from government, non-governmental organisations and the private sector would be invited to take part in the summit in September.
“Clearly there are serious challenges relating to supply chain management and procurement. We have called for this summit because we are experiencing problems in this field. Many people are exploiting the procurement situation and the premier feels strongly that the system is very porous,” Zulu said.
“Something needs to be done to tighten the system and help address public concerns on graft issues,” he added. “We will work with all the role players, including civil society and the private sector, to try to find solutions to end corruption, especially in the supply chain.”
The province will also launch a hotline at the end of July to address complaints that had been raised with South Africa’s president Jacob Zuma’s office, Zulu said.
The proposed summit comes amid complaints from trade unions that neither Zuma nor his Cabinet are investigating allegations of corruption despite intense media coverage.