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South Africa: Procurement of VIP planes canceled


News24.com

July 6th, 2012

Cape Town – Announcing the cancellation of R2bn jet deal for President Jacob Zuma, Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said there is a need for VIP planes and a new procurement process can be expected.

The proposed purchase of a new Boeing 777 jet for President Jacob Zuma will not go ahead, Mapisa-Nqakula said on Friday.

She told reporters in Pretoria the procurement process was cancelled after the offer to purchase lapsed on June 15.

A $10m (about R82m) deposit would be returned in full, the minister added.

The ministry confirmed that there was also an offer from Airbus but that this lapsed two weeks later, on June 30.

“I have since met with the companies approached to submit proposals for the procurement of VVIP aircraft, including Boeing, and I have informed them that the current process has been cancelled.”

The minister said a new procurement process could be expected in the future because there was a need for VIP planes.

Mapisa-Nqakula said the process involving Boeing was being probed by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela.

She declined to say whether the regular procurement requirements had been followed, pending the outcome of that investigation.

– SAPA

South Africa: Police chief Bheki Cele fired by President Jacob Zuma


Global Post

By Eric Conway-Smith

June 12, 2012

Bheki Cele, suspended over allegations of dodgy property deals, has been replaced by Mangwashi Victoria Phiyega, South Africa’s first female police commissioner.

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — Bheki Cele has been fired as top police chief, South African President Jacob Zuma announced today.

Cele, suspended last year after allegations of unlawful property deals, has been replaced by Mangwashi Victoria Phiyega. She is South Africa’s first female national police commissioner.

Cele’s dismissal comes amid growing frustration in South Africa over corrupt and incompetent police, from traffic cops soliciting a bribe to the controversial appointments of some of the country’s highest-ranking police officials.

A board of inquiry last month found that Cele was not fit to hold office, and recommended he be dismissed.

“I have decided to release General Cele from his duties,” Zuma told reporters in Pretoria.

Allegations about Cele’s property deals were first reported in South Africa’s Sunday Times newspaper, on August 1, 2010.

A corruption investigator ruled last year that Cele and a government minister were involved in property deals that were “improper, unlawful, and amounted to maladministration.”

Public protector Thuli Madonsela investigated leases for buildings that were to have served as police headquarters in Pretoria and Durban, and found that the buildings were leased from a well-connected company at inflated prices.

She slammed Cele for his involvement in the deals, and called for disciplinary action against him by President Zuma.

In the Durban deal, police had offered $169 million to a politically connected property tycoon for a 10-year lease that was worth less than one third of that amount.

Cele’s predecessor, Jackie Selebi, is serving a 15-year jail sentence for corruption after being convicted of taking $156,000 in bribes from drug dealer Glenn Agliotti.

Combating procurement fraud in Africa and beyond


The Guardian

By 

June 8th, 2012

At the Global Africa Diaspora summit, African officials came together to discuss how to clamp down on procurement fraud.

Most African countries have a poor track record when it comes to combatingprocurement fraud. But there are signs that this could be changing – at least in South Africa. At the Global Africa Diaspora summit, held in Johannesburg in May, I ran a course on procurement fraud.

One of the aims of the summit, which was supported by the African Union, is to encourage involvement in African affairs by Africans living outside the continent. Some of the delegates said that people were reluctant to invest in existing business – or to establish new ones – unless there was more certainty that money would be spent well and that procurement was based on the best suppliers, not corrupt systems.

The first step in addressing procurement fraud is to admit that it is happening and to then take action against offenders. This appears to be happening in South Africa, where national newspapers have been highlighting alleged misdemeanours by senior officials.

According to The Johannesburg Star, the Nehawu trade union has called for the temporary suspension of Humphrey Mmemezi, the member of the executive council for local government and housing in the Guateng province (which covers Johannesburg and Pretoria), pending investigation over alleged misuse of a corporate procurement card. The ANC is also calling for an investigation. While there have been some high-profile cases of individual abuse in the UK, a recent report from the National Audit Office said civil servants were able to abuse government-issued credit cards because of failure in oversight…Read more.

South Africa: Government releases its Mid Term Review


7th Space

Compiled by the Government Communication and Information System
Jun 1, 2012

Pretoria – Government has officially released its Mid Term Review Report, which provides progress on the implementation of the commitments it has made.

November 2011 marked the mid-point of the 2009-2014 electoral term of the current administration and in line with that, the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation carried out a Mid Term Review of government.

The report was released by Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane, in Pretoria, on Friday.

The review focuses on government’s progress against the delivery agreements for the 12 outcomes. The outcomes are focused on national priorities such as education, health, crime and corruption, jobs and rural development.

The Department for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation has been monitoring progress on the implementation of the delivery agreements for the outcomes and reporting quarterly to Cabinet and the President.

Speaking about government’s priority of creating jobs, Chabane said although sufficient jobs were not created to meet the demand, government has made significant advances in the coordination of growth strategies, the New Growth Path and Stakeholder agreements.

“We have made progress with labour absorbing industrial development strategies in manufacturing, mineral products, procurement reform and the Jobs Fund. We have also made progress with improving competitiveness and reducing costs in minerals beneficiation, automotives and clothing.”

According to the report, significant procurement reforms to promote employment were achieved in 2011 with South Africa recording possibly up to 350 000 jobs in the course of the year.
However, the report notes, employment levels were still below those of 2008, before the recession with the current employment ration still well below the modest target of 45% by 2014.

The report notes that the Jobs Fund, announced by President Jacob Zuma last year, had committed only R425 million of its R2 billion budget for 2011/12.

The task of coordinating job creation initiatives across departments has proven to be challenging, resulting in slow implementation of decisions, especially where complex coordination is involved.

The report cites the problem of youth unemployment as among serious challenges facing the country.

“Government is taking a multi-pronged approach to youth employment. In addition to plans to stimulate higher growth that supports more entry-level employment opportunities, the strategy includes improved and affordable education, especially for young people from poor households; expansion in further and higher education and training; improved health care, with targeted programmes on teen pregnancy; early childhood development; and HIV and AIDS and career guidance and counselling,” reads the report.

It said a youth employment incentive, which is currently under discussion at the National Economic Development and Labour Council, had been proposed.

The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) was in the process of finalising the National Youth Development Plan and the Integrated Youth Development Strategy for Cabinet, which focus on employment creation and economic participation by the youth. NYDA is said to have helped create 18 048 jobs in 2010/11.

During his State of the Nation Address earlier this year, President Zuma announced that the Industrial Development Cooperation (IDC) had by February this year approved R1.5 billion for 60 companies to promote job creation. This was part of the R10 billion set aside by the IDC for job creation.

With regard to increasing competitiveness, the report points to definite progress in the implementation of the Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP), and jobs drivers in some sectors, including minerals beneficiation, autos and clothing.

It highlights key developments in green growth through the implementation of a solar water heater programme and through commitments on renewable energy in the independent power producer (IPP) process.

Over 8 500 solar geysers were installed across South Africa during the two-week UN climate summit held in Durban with government targeting one million homes by 2014.

Reported by: South African Government News Service.

The Big Interview: ‘My fight is about principles, not leases’


Xolani Mbanjwa
Roux Shabangu, the billionaire property developer at the centre of the R1.7bn leases saga that led to Public Works Minister Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde being fired and police commissioner Gen Bheki Cele suspended, believes that he has been treated unfairly.Shabangu, who has been hogging the headlines since he clinched the controversial lease contract from the Department of Public Works that have since been deemed “unlawful” by public protector Thuli Madonsela, is unhappy about the findings.He made this clear in an interview during which his wife, Percy, a law student, sat alongside him at his plush offices in Irene, Pretoria. Shabangu only has a matric.Shabangu bitterly complains how being black has unfairly thrust him into the spotlight and accuses white property developers – and his former business partner – of working with the media to tarnish his name.

His business portfolio boasts a string of shopping centres, mines in South Africa and Swaziland, properties, boats and vehicles. Shabangu scoffed at allegations that he clinched the lucrative lease contract for the new police headquarters in Pretoria only because of his political and business connections.

“People think I’ve got money because Zuma is the president. It’s rubbish. Why didn’t I need Thabo Mbeki when I was building Jabulani Mall (in Soweto) and other developments?

“Why would I rely on connections now? I’ve always had connections. I don’t have unique ones now. I know the same people I knew back then,” said the 37-year-old father of four.

The former amateur boxer said the success he’s achieved “especially at my age should be celebrated, but you can see that some people are aggrieved about my business”.

“Zuma is 69, I’ve just turned 37,” Shabangu said, introducing a new conversation while sidestepping the question about inflated leases he signed with government.

He confidently declared that his legal team would clear his name and successfully defend Mahlangu-Nkabinde’s bid to get the Sanlam-Middestad building lease nullified by the Pretoria High CourtRead more.

South Africa: ‘No more cash-cow contracts for clueless comrades’


Mail&Guardian Online

September 22, 2011

The days of the department of public works being run like a “cash cow” are over, minister Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde said in Sandton on Thursday. 

Contracts are given to people who don’t even have a clue what they are supposed to do,” she told delegates at the Engineering Council of South Africa’s summit.

There were roads and bridges falling apart around the country, and of the 41 departmental contracts reviewed by the Special Investigating Unit, all were found to be non-compliant.

It’s a shame. I am paying for buildings that are falling apart. Many are not being used, or maintained. They are just empty.”

Mahlangu-Nkabinde took office on October 31 last year, succeeding Jeff Doidge.

She said: “When I got into public works, I discovered it was just a cash cow.”

In two separate reports this year, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela held her and national police commissioner Bheki Cele responsible for a R500-million and R1.1-billion lease agreement with businessman Roux Shabangu for police office space in Pretoria and Durban.

She found the leases were concluded in an unlawful and improper way. Madonsela criticised the department for going ahead with the deals, in spite of legal opinion to the contrary and an earlier agreement that this would not happen until the public protector had completed her investigation.

Without referring to the lease controversy, Mahlangu-Nkabinde said: “We have created a lot of millionaires who do not care what happens to this country.

“I am interfering in areas where previous people were comfortable, but I am not in it for myself, I am in it for the country and for the years to come.

I want to remain an unpopular minister, because I will not give a ‘comrade’, who has no clue what he is doing, government projects.”

In the past weeks, her department announced it had already found R3-billion worth of tender irregularities in response to recommendations made by the protector…Read more.

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