Gigaba faces tough questions on two shadowy R70 billion Chinese tenders

Flag map of the People’s Republic of China

CAPE TOWN — First the flawed, unconstitutional and unsound process leading to nuclear agreements with Russia, now R70 billion in deviant and uncompetitive tenders with the Chinese – the Zuptoids Prince Charming, Malusi ‘Moneybags’ Gigaba, has some answering to do. Ever-ready with a broad smile, our new Finance Minister faces serious questions from the DA’s shadow deputy minister of finance, Alf Lees. We already know about the billions paid for Chinese locomotives not suited to our tracks, now the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa is again at the centre of controversy, together with the reputationally smelly Water and Sanitation Department. Their contracts, signed without public tender or permission from Treasury to bypass tender laws, total R70 billion. Which brings to mind the Hawks goons and a SARS Zuptoid’s bodyguard threatening and allegedly assaulting a former colleague of Pravin Gordhan’s in a SARS boardroom at the end of August. They were trying to squeeze out, or create, some sludge on one of Zuma’s most influential irritants, but it speaks volumes about the capture of Treasury. That these thugs believe they can intimidate any SARS staffer who even thinks of blowing a whistle, is scary. Unless Gigaba has convincing answers for the relevant portfolio committee, this could be further evidence of an arrogant, blatant disregard for due process, not to mention possible outright corruption. – Chris Bateman

From the Democratic Alliance:

The DA calls on Finance Minister, Malusi Gigaba, to assure Parliament and the South African public that two mega-contracts between government and Chinese parastatals will not go ahead without the procurement laws being adhered to.

According to media reports, the Water and Sanitation Department as well as the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) are in the process of handing contracts worth R70 billion to Chinese parastatals without a public tender or permission from Treasury to bypass tender laws.

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba reacts during a news conference in Pretoria on April 1, 2017. Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

Minister Gigaba must urgently account for Treasury’s alleged planned deviation in the competitive tendering process and make an assurance that due procedure will be followed before handing over these R70 billion contacts to Chinese companies without the proper tendering process.

The last thing that South Africa can afford right now is another corrupt multi-billion rand intergovernmental tender deal. Earlier this year the Western Cape High Court ruled that the process leading to government signing agreements with Russia for a nuclear contract was “flawed, unconstitutional and not in line with sound decision making”.

The DA will not allow an attempt at grand corruption of this sort to transpire again and we will use all available avenues to challenge the lack of due process in these deals. Treasury must account to parliament on its involvement in these negotiations and provide a full disclosure on whether the legal tender process is being followed.

The DA will pose these questions to Treasury when it appears before the Standing Committee on Finance on Wednesday next week. Minister Gigaba must act in an open and accountable manner to the South African public on this massive deal that currently seems to be flouting all competitive tender processes.


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