Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has found that the South African Post Office’s procurement of its headquarters in Centurion‚ Pretoria‚ was not fair, transparent‚ or cost effective.
The Protector’s report also revealed that R2.7 billion was spent on procuring labour brokers‚ some of whom were improperly employed without contracts. Madonsela bluntly told SAPO to end the use of external service providers.
She found the post office paid R22 million for 10 months rental of a building that was unoccupied‚ and recommended that this amount should be recovered from Centurion Vision Development by the post office board.
Madonsela also criticised the ten-year lease it signed‚ signalling it was tainted by procurement irregularities.
SAPO’s failure to follow proper procurement procedures was in violation of the Public Finance Management Act‚ she said.
The Communications Workers Union had asked for the inquiry‚ wanting answers to the Eco Point office building and an amount of R2.1-billion it believed was not accounted for. The union alleged corruption and tender-rigging in a dossier it handed over in April 2011. CWU said the “systemic looting” at SAPO had resulted in employees being paid half their salaries in 2014/15.
Madonsela’s probe has taken almost five years to complete due in part to internal disciplinary processes and a change of guard at the state postal agency.
Her report‚ handed down on Tuesday‚ was titled “Postponed Delivery”.[Source: Times Live]