OUTA was provided with information on the deals by whistleblowers and has now sent a report on the problems and a call for action to the Department of Social Development, its agency SASSA and Parliament.
“SASSA has become less an organ of state and more a crime syndicate,” says OUTA in the report.
“Even amongst South Africa’s notorious maladministered state-owned entities, the scale and brazenness of SASSA’s misconduct casts a shadow all its own.”
SASSA signed the irregular contracts with Azande Consulting CC, an events management business which has also worked with the Presidency.
“OUTA strongly recommends that the various bodies who receive this report act to cancel these tenders, reclaim the hundreds of millions spent and hold the individuals responsible accountable for their misconduct,” says Dominique Msibi, OUTA’s Portfolio Director for Special Projects, who oversaw the report.
She says the activities indicate that Azande and SASSA officials breached the Constitution, the Companies Act, the Public Finance Management Act and the Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act.
Both contracts are for three years in all nine provinces.
Both contracts involved running community surveys.
Both were approved by SASSA’s acting CEO at the time, Raphaahle Ramokgopa.
SASSA is believed to have spent at least R221 million on these contracts so far and the contracts are only a year into the three-year deal.
“Both tenders were granted without following due process and were for services which could have either been performed in house or were entirely unnecessary. Azande was simply not capable of providing the services in terms of the tenders and either failed to provide proof that they had performed the service or falsely misrepresented that they had performed the service,” says OUTA’s report.
Msibi sent the report on the contracts and a request for action to:
OUTA is a proudly South African non-profit civil action organisation, comprising of and supported by people who are passionate about holding government accountable and improving the prosperity of South Africa.