Cosatu proposes interventions to tackle Covid-19 procurement graft

Trade union federation Cosatu estimates that between R1-billion and R2-billion has been irregularly spent to procure personal protective equipment (PPE) since the start of the pandemic. 

In a report submitted to the portfolio committee on Wednesday, Cosatu said middlemen were overcharging the government by up to 300% for Covid-19 supplies. 

In one instance, local factories that comply with labour laws and other regulations could produce cloth masks worth R10 to R16, depending on quality. The middlemen procures illegally or internationally sourced cloth masks, which are often cheaper to produce. The middlemen would then charge the government R20 to R25 for the masks, leaving the local factories scrambling for revenue. 

“The state could have saved billions of rands by buying directly from factories, but factories — including many black-owned factories — are not winning the bids from the government,” the report reads. 

As part of its recommendations submitted to the committee, Cosatu said all politically exposed people should be banned from doing business with the government. 

It also proposed that political office bearers whose departments are implicated in graft and wasteful expenditure should be removed. 

Other proposed interventions include establishing “rapid response courts” to deal with corruption. These would be based on the courts that were established during the 2010 World Cup to deal with crime. 

Thando Maeko is an Adamela Trust business reporter at the Mail & Guardian

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Thando Maeko
Thando Maeko is an Adamela Trust business reporter at the Mail & Guardian

Related stories


Subscribers only

Pandemic cripples learners’ futures

South African schools have yet to open for the 2021 academic year and experts are sounding the alarm over lost learning time, especially in the crucial grades one and 12

Q&A Sessions: George Euvrard, the brains behind our cryptic crossword

George Euvrard spoke to Athandiwe Saba about his passion for education, clues on how to solve his crosswords and the importance of celebrating South Africa.

More top stories

Inside George Mukhari hospital’s second wave

The Bhekisisa Centre for Health Journalism and James Oatway visited George Mukhari academic hospital to document the second-wave realities experienced by doctors and nurses

Power shift at Luthuli House

Ace Magashule’s move to distance himself from Carl Niehaus signals a rebalancing of influence and authority at the top of the ANC

Trump slinks off world stage, leaving others to put out...

What his supporters and assorted right-wingers will do now in a climate that is less friendly to them is anyone’s guess

The US once again has something  Africa wants: competent leaders

Africa must use its best minds to negotiate a mutually beneficial economic relationship

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…