Centralising the government’s tender system will go a long way towards rooting out corruption in South Africa’s public service, President Jacob Zuma said on Sunday.
Speaking in an interview with national television, Zuma said the fight against corruption would be better won when there was a central board in place to deal with all tenders. It would also make it easier to police corrupt officials.
In his State of the Nation address last Thursday, Zuma said a central tender board would be established to adjudicate tenders in all spheres of government. The board, he said, will work with the chief procurement officer, whose main function would be to check on pricing and adherence to procedures as well as fairness.
“The problem is that if you spread the tender system across all spheres of government, you have got too many fingers everywhere. It is difficult to control that,” Zuma told the SABC on Sunday.
Zuma said the problem with having too many panels deciding on their own tenders was that it exposed the system to infiltration by corrupt officials, which often led to people in the entire tender system being perceived to be corrupt.
With the new system, corruption, if it occurred, would be limited to one board and relatively easy to investigate.