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COVID-19: AG Maluleke says procurement of PPEs saw the biggest corruption

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AG Tsakani Maluleke presented the second special report on the financial management of COVID-19 initiatives to the Standing Committee on the Auditor-General on Friday.

FILE: Auditor-General Tsakani Maluleke. Picture: @SAgovnews/Twitter.

CAPE TOWN – The Auditor-General said the procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE) remained the biggest target in COVID-19-related corruption.

AG Tsakani Maluleke presented the second special report on the financial management of COVID-19 initiatives to the Standing Committee on the Auditor-General on Friday.

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Maluleke told MPs they audited a total of 16 government initiatives that were part of the R500 billion support package, but these excluded matters related to Sars and other tax referrals.

READ: SIU says officials implicated in PPE corruption will be punished

She told the committee that the report focused mainly on PPE, the Unemployment Insurance Fund payments and the payment of Sassa grants.

Maluleke said pre-existing deficiencies in the supply chain were amplified by the introduction of emergency procurement processes.

“We found that procurement and contract management issues prevailed in a number of initiatives that we audited. The most prominent of these remains the procurement of PPE.”

READ: A number of hard lessons learned from PPE corruption probe, admits Ramaphosa

Maluleke said they identified that a lack of verification systems across government platforms resulted in people receiving undue benefits and grants.

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“We also identified that the lack of validation, integration sharing of data across government platforms resulted in people – including government officials – receiving grants to which they were not entitled.”

Maluleke said there were encouraging signs like how the UIF managed to recover R3.4 billion which was paid out irregularly.

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